Hezbollah implements travel ban over tense regional issues

August 26 2022

Resistance fighters were asked to stay put in Lebanon over the maritime dispute with Israel and growing political instability in Iraq

Members of Hezbollah take part in Ashura commemorations in a southern Beirut suburb. (Photo credit: Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

ByNews Desk- 

Hezbollah has implemented a travel ban on all its members due to growing tensions with Israel and the current political situation in Iraq.

The ban is deemed unusual, as many pilgrims had already booked travel tickets and reserved seats to visit Iraq’s holy sites.

The situation between Hezbollah and Israel remains tense as a result of a maritime dispute over oil and gas exploration rights in the Mediterranean sea.

The row over the Karish gas field escalated in June and has since drawn international attention.

Negotiations between Israel and Lebanon are mediated by the US state department, under the oversight of US senior advisor for energy security Amos Hochstein.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has warned that a response would be imminent should Israel fail to respect the interests of the Lebanese people and that the group would stand up “in defense of our resources of oil and gas.”

In addition, the current political situation in Iraq likely contributed to the decision, as large numbers of supporters travel to Iraq to commemorate the forty days of martyrdom of Imam Hussein in Karbala.

Iraq has been experiencing a ten-month-long political deadlock with mass mobilizations in the country’s capital.

Supporters of the Coordination Framework (CF) demand the formation of a new government by the current parliament, while Sadrist supporters call for a dissolution of the parliament and fresh elections.

While the Sadrist movement was able to win 73 out of 329 seats in the October 2021 election, Muqtada al-Sadr failed to create a coalition government, leading to the resignation of his MPs.

Iraq’s judicial court resumed its activities on Wednesday, following mobilizations of Al-Sadr supporters around its headquarters. The country’s top court has announced it would hold a session on dissolving Iraq’s parliament, despite previous statements that it is not within its jurisdiction.

Islamic Resistance Fighters Respond to Sayyed Nasrallah Readiness Command: We’ll Defend Fortunes and Dignities

August 9, 2022

The Islamic Resistance fighters sent a letter to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in which they respond to his eminence’s readiness command included in his Ashura speech.

Few hours after the speech, the Islamic Resistance military department released the letter that reflected the fighters’ preparedness to carry out all the missions set by Hezbollah leadership in order to defend Lebanon’s fortunes.

The letter stressed that the Resistance fighters are ready on the borders to defend sovereignty and dignity, confirming that if the enemy returns, they will return.

Addressing resistance supporters, and especially resistance fighters, Sayyed Nasrallah said, during his Ashura speech in Beirut’s Dahiyeh on Tesday, they should be ready for all options.

“We are dealing with this battle with utmost level of seriousness. I say to the Israelis and the Americans (US administration): Lebanon will ever tolerate stealing its wealth.

“We have reached the end of the line and we will keep up on this way.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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المُقاومون لنصر الله: جاهزون «على الحدود»

الثلاثاء 9 آب 2022


أكّد مقاومو «المقاومة الإسلامية» استعدادهم عند الحدود بكل ما أعدّوا من قوّة لمواجهة العدو الإسرائيلي، وإلحاق الهزيمة به، في رسالة ردّاً على طلب الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، أن يكونوا جاهزين لأي مستجدٍ في الأيام القادمة.

ووزّع «الإعلام الحربي» رسالة مقاومي حزب الله، التي أجابوا فيها على ما طلبه نصر الله منهم خلال خطاب إحياء ذكرى عاشوراء اليوم، وقد جاء فيها الآتي:

«بسم ربّ المجاهدين قاصم الجبّارين
سماحة القائد الأمين المفدّى…
وصلتنا رسالتكم وسمعنا مقالتكم، وعلى حَرِّ جمر العاشر من محرم لبّينا مع المُلبّين في محضر خطابكم، ونحن نتقلّد شموخ الحسين وإباء العبّاس وفداء الأكبر…
لقد أشعل، يا سيدنا، نداؤكم أرواحنا المتوقّدة عزماً وحزماً في أيام عاشوراء، وأجّج نفوسنا الأبيّة المتوثّبة دائماً، فأمرُنا أمرُ القيادة كما عهدتموننا، واليد على الزّناد نرمي ببصرنا أقصى القوم…
أيها الأمين على الدماء والأرواح والساكن في العقول والقلوب، يا حبيبنا، يا عزيزنا، يا سليل الأئمة ومختصر وصايا الأنبياء، يا بأس العبّاس وصيحة الحسين، رسالتنا لكم يا سيّدنا أننا:
نقسم باللّه العظيم الّذي نصرنا مُنذ بدر وذات تموز وفي كل ساحٍ وناح، أننا جاهزون بكل ما أعددنا لهم من قوة؛ متوثّبون على الحدود، حدود السيادة وخطوط الكرامة براً وبحراً ومن حيث لا يحتسبون…
نعرفك وتعرفنا يا سيدنا، ثابتون على الثّغور بالنّحور، تزول الجبال ولا نزُل، فنحن الأرض والصخر والشجر، ونحن حكايا الناس وزمن الانتصارات الذي بدأ…
قسماً لدماء جدّك في يومه الجلل، إن عادوا عدنا، وأحلناهم عصفاً…
سنحطّم مركبات نارهم، ونهشّم غرورهم، وندك أوكارهم…
سنكتب للأحرار نصرنا الأكبر الذي ننتظره بشوق، وبوشم دمدم رصاصنا سنحفر للمحتلين المعتدين هزيمة الهزائم…
لبّيك يا ابن الحسين…
نحفظ الثّروات ونصون الكرامات…
ما تركناك يوماً يا سيّدنا ولن نتركك… لبّيك على العهد دائماً يا صاحب الوعد…
ولله رجال إذا أرادوا أراد».

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

S. Nasrallah Warns ‘Israel’ against Miscalculation: We’ve Reached End of Line, Ready for All Options

August 9, 2022

Marwa Haidar

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Warned the Zionist entity against any miscalculation towards Lebanon, stressing that Hezbollah has reached “the end of the line” regarding the issue of gas and maritime border.

Addressing mourners in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh) on Ashura Day, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that the Lebanese resistance group is fully ready to confront all options, in response to Israeli threats and in a clear message that Hezbollah is prepared for war.

Sayyed Nasrallah hailed what he called the legendry steadfastness of Gaza’s people and resistance in face of Israeli aggression, voicing full commitment to Palestine as the central cause of the nation.

His eminence also voiced sympathy and support to Nigeria’s Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and people of Bahrain, Yemen and Syria.

Sayyed Nasrallah also warned Iraqis against foreign schemes.

Ashura and Nigeria

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by offering condolences for Imam Mahdi (a.j.), the lord of the age, and all Muslims over martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (a.s.).

Talking via a video link, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed allegiance to Imam Hussein, noting that “throughout 40 years, we haven’t abandoned him, and we will never do so.”

He voiced sympathy with Nigeria Shia cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been for years subjected to repeated crackdowns by Nigerian authorities.

“Ashura is the day when we shall voice support to all those who are oppressed. We voice sympathy with Sheikh Zakzaky, along with his supporters.”

Palestine and Bahrain

The Hezbollah S.G. then stressed that Palestine is the central cause of the nation, praising those who were martyred and injured to defend the occupied country.

“Palestine is the central cause. We don’t expect mercy from the US, but we address those who claim they are Arabs. To be Muslims or Arabs is to support oppressed people.”

“We feel proud of the martyrs and resistance fighters over their legendry steadfastness. We renew our commitment to this affair.”

Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, slammed Bahraini regime over normalizing ties with the Zionist entity, and over attacking Ashura ceremonies across the Arab island.

“One of the ugliest parties who normalized ties with Israel is the regime in Bahrain who proved that it doesn’t tolerate a black flag,” he said referring to flags raised during Ashura ceremonies.

“We recall the oppression of people of Bahrain, whose rights are stolen by their treacherous rulers who are embracing the enemies of this nation.”

Yemen, Iraq and Syria

Sayyed Nasrallah then reiterated the Lebanese resistance group’s stance towards Yemen.

“In the day of oppressed (Ashura) we reiterate that we stand by the people of Yemen who have been for years tirelessly fighting for their dignity and confronting tyrants.”

“People of Yemen are real personification of Karbala and supporting them is a duty.”

The Hezbollah S.G. also urged Iraqis to solve their disagreements, calling on them to foil schemes set by the nation’s enemies.

On Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah said the country has overcome the universal war launched by many international regional sides, but stressed that the blockade represented by the US Caesar Act.

His eminence also praised Iran, describing the Islamic Republic, led by Supreme Leader Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, as the heart of the Axis of Resistance.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled sacrifices made by martyrs Qassem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis who were martyred by a US strike in Baghdad in 2020.

In Lebanon, Another Account to Settle

On Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah was very clear, as he responded to Israeli threats and warned the occupation regime against any miscalculation.

“The Lebanese are the only people who decide their fates and make their decisions. Throughout 40 years we have confronted all forms of challenges including wars, blockades and assassinations.”

“We look forward to a free and powerful Lebanon that is capable to defend its dignity and to invest its wealth. We look forward to Lebanon which is capable of cutting off any hand that would extend to its wealth.”

Meanwhile, his eminence called on Lebanese sides to exert joint efforts in a bid to form a government and to cope with current crises, urging officials to feel the pain of the Lebanese citizens.

On the issue of gas, oil and maritime border, Sayyed Nasrallah said Hezbollah will see the responses to the Lebanese State’s requests in the coming days.

Addressing resistance supporters, and especially resistance fighters, Sayyed Nasrallah said they should be ready for all options.

“We are dealing with this battle with utmost level of seriousness. I say to the Israelis and the Americans (US administration): Lebanon will never tolerate stealing its wealth.”

“We have reached the end of the line and we will keep up on this way.”

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah responded to Israeli remarks regarding the “messages” behind the last 3-day aggression on Gaza.

“Yes, I was watching the latest developments in Gaza and the message was delivered. We have seen heroism and steadfastness in Gaza as well as the unity of its resistance factions. Gaza managed to impose its own equation of deterrence. As for Lebanon, there is another account to settle.”

In this context, his eminence warned: “any aggression on any person in Lebanon won’t go unpunished. We remind you that we are the lovers of Imam Hussein (a.s.) who once said ‘Humiliation, never!’.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Stronger than Ever, Serious and Ready for Any Scenario

August 09, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech on the Day of Ashura in which he conveyed messages all across the region, affirming mainly the readiness, capabilities, and preparedness of the resistance against any aggression, and renewing that Lebanon would never concede any of its rights and resources.

Sayyed Nasrallah reminded the enemies that “We are the lovers and followers of the Imam who stood on the same day like this one during which he rejected any kind of humiliation.”

At the end of the massive Ashura March that Hezbollah organized in Beirut’s Southern Suburb [Dahiyeh] on Tuesday morning, the Resistance leader underlined that on the day of defending the dignities, “I tell you and I tell all the Lebanese people, especially the people of the Resistance, and mainly the resistance fighters, that we have to be ready and prepared for any scenario.”

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah thanked the mourners and the participants in the Ashura commemorations, telling them: “Today, you express your loyalty, love, and faithfulness as you did over the past 40 years, no matter how harsh the circumstances were.”

The Hezbollah leader started the speech by sympathizing with to the Nigerian people who have been shot by the regime forces while commemorating Ashura mourning procession, and condoling with Nigerian leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky on this massacre.

Then Sayyed Nasrallah set the standard of humanity, Islam, honor, and for those who claim Arabism, which he identified as the stance towards Palestine, and what happens there and against its oppressed people.

“The Palestinian people fight in Gaza and Nablus, impose their equations, and affirm that resistance is their sole way,” His Eminence said, renewing commitment to the Palestinian cause and supporting the resisting Palestinian people.

Additionally, he said we are proud of the Palestinian resistance fighters and martyrs, but questioned the stance of those who claim to be Muslims regarding the blood that was shed in Palestine. His Eminence then affirmed Hezbollah’s stance being at the forefront of confronting the Zionist enemy.

Slamming the Bahraini regime, Sayyed Nasrallah termed it as the ugliest among those who normalized ties with the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity as it doesn’t tolerate the presence of the Hussaini banners while it allows the Zionists to tour in the kingdom.

Moving to praise the Yemeni people’s patience and defiance, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “On the Day of Ashura, we renew our unending support to the Yemeni people regardless of anything [consequences].”

“The Yemenis don’t skip any of the Ummah’s occasions despite the blockade, pain and wounds they are suffering from; the Yemeni people are the true representation of Imam Hussein [AS]’s Karbala, and we believe that supporting them is the most urgent duty in this world.”

Regarding the unrest in Iraq, the Hezbollah leader hoped that the Iraqi people solve their internal disputes to save their country from what is being plotted against it, cautioning as well that there are countries and peoples who are besieged in Gaza, Syria, and Yemen with the aim of being forced to surrender.

As for the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sayyed Nasrallah said it will remain the strongest power of Islam and the Axis of Resistance, recalling on this day the prominent martyr Qassem Soleimani and his brother martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

On the local level, Sayyed Nasrallah said “In Lebanon we are facing the blockade and the sanctions, and we will keep looking forward to a better future for a strong, free, and dignified Lebanon,” warning that the hand that will touch our wealth will be cut, as it was cut when it touched the Lebanese soil.

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah advised the Lebanese officials to experience the people’s pain to be able to ease it, and called for forming a true government that has authorities to shoulder the responsibilities whether a president of the republic was elected or not.

As for the indirect negotiations on the maritime border demarcation and the disputed gas and oil in the sea, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “In this battle, we are serious to the maximum level, and as I addressed the Americans in the past, who present themselves as mediators but they are not, I tell the ‘Israelis’ that from now on, Lebanon and its people would never forgive looting their resources. We’ve reached the end, and let nobody test or threaten us.”

“In the coming days we wait the enemy’s response regarding Lebanon’s demands over the maritime border demarcation,” His Eminence underlined, lecturing the enemy that “Lebanon and its people won’t accept from now on looting its wealth, and we are ready for any scenario.”

As Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the Resistance has received the messages that were wanted to be conveyed in the war on Gaza, he added that “we have seen the defiance in Gaza, and we in Lebanon have another account to settle [with the ‘Israeli’ enemy].”

“The resistance is stronger than any time before,” the Hezbollah leader told the enemy, advising it not to commit any mistake against Lebanon and its people. “The enemy has to recognize the side it is facing and that there is in Lebanon a resistance that has proven it can defeat the army that was referred to as ‘invincible’.”

We have received some reports in the past days that plans to assassinate Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders, and other Palestinian resistance factions’ figures outside Palestine, including Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah warned, answering such threat by the following warning: “Any attack against any person in Lebanon won’t go unpunished and won’t go unanswered.”

By the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah voiced Lebanon and the Lebanese people’s rejection of looting their wealth, violating their sovereignty, and imposing things against their will.

“We foresee the promising future that has been shaped by the victory of the blood against the sword,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

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IRG Releases Footage for Underground Military Bases Housing Missiles, Drones

March 7, 2022

By Staff

The Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] released footage showing the underground military bases that house missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The bases contain the most advanced technological and defensive achievements the IRG has made recently.

This is the first time the IRG Aerospace Force unveils an underground drone base.

In the bases there are drones with a range of 2000 kilometers, dual missile launchpads, and high accuracy multi-drone launchpads for the aircraft shown in the latest [Great Prophet 17] “Payambar-e-Azam 17” drills held in December 2021, which proved magnificently efficient in defending the Islamic Republic and its people against any threat.

Unveiling the bases conveyed a dual message to foes and friends at once; it represented a warning for enemies not to continue their regional threats, as well as a show of support and solidarity to the friends in the region and the entire world.

The event coincided with the Hijri month of Shaaban and the birth anniversary of third Shia Imam Hussein bin Ali [AS], and the anniversary of establishing the Islamic Revolution Guard.

The new bases are capable of launching 60 drones at once. Given that the range of those drones is long and unlimited, there is not a limit for the targets, and any hostile target can be hit since the IRG has increased its missile fire power and synchronized launching between 6 and 7 times.

IRG Unveils New ‘Meraj 504’ Kamikaze Drone to Attack Enemy’s Defense Systems

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] unveiled one of its new kamikaze drones, dubbed Meraj 504, which is specialized in attacking enemy’s defense systems.

According to a Sunday report by Tasnim news agency, the new unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] has been designed and produced by the IRG’s Ground Force and is capable of carrying a 2.5kg explosive payload over 100 kilometers. It uses a reciprocating engine for propulsion.

The new drone is an upgrade of the IRG’s former Meraj 214 UAV, which was also used to target enemy’s air defense systems.

The new model has greatly decreased the design and manufacturing cost of this line of drones, which are now being operated by the IRG’s Ground Force.

The new development came only a day after the IRG’s Aerospace Force unveiled two missile and drone tunnel bases built at the heart of high mountains.

The bases house ground-to-ground missile systems with advanced equipment, as well as attack drones that can penetrate the enemy’s radar and defense networks.

They are also home to unmanned aerial vehicles with a range of 2,000 kilometers, two-missile launch platforms and multi-drone launch platforms, which were unveiled during the IRG’s Great Prophet 17 joint military exercises in Iran’s southern shore in December 2021.

Addressing a ceremony to unveil the bases, the commander of the IRG’s Aerospace Division said the country can simultaneously launch 60 unmanned aerial vehicles from its newly unveiled underground base with no target limitation.

Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said 60 drones can fly from the base at the same time without any limitation on the targets because the “range of the unmanned aircraft is long and not limited.”

“We can hit any hostile target,” Hajizadeh emphasized.

Martyr Soleimani More Powerful than General Soleimani

January 4, 2022

By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer

Today, the 3rd of January, the Iranian nation is all geared up to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the martyrdom of one of its greatest generals in history who without the least doubt was also one of the astute diplomats that Iran has produced – and so also several nations of the region whom the martyr inspired.

His funeral and that of his equally brilliant colleague of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] was attended by millions of mourners as the coffins passed through several cities of Iraq and Iran.

Yesterday, millions of Baghdadis had poured into the streets to pay tributes to the Martyrs Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, with the determination to achieve the goals for which the two had strived, including the driving out of the US occupation forces from the region.

Qassem Soleimani needs no introduction. He was a Hammer of terrorists, whether non-state actors like the takfiris, or state actors like the US and the illegal Zionist entity.

Though assassinated in the most cowardly manner by the Americans on the orders of the scoundrel Donald Trump, he continues to wield a growing influence on the Resistance Forces, to the horror of the US and ‘Israel’, which had thought that killing the judicious general who was on a diplomatic mission to Iraq, would remove the greatest obstacle to their devilish designs.

They have been proved totally wrong as Martyr Soleimani looms larger than life today, inspiring not just the Iranians, but also the Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Yemenis, Bahrainis, and all other freedom loving oppressed nations determined to drive the CENTCOM terrorists from the region.

As a matter of fact, Martyr Soleimani is today more powerful than General Soleimani, who had ably guided the Iraqis and Syrians in routing the macabrely murderous US-supported Daesh terrorists and thus saving their homelands from becoming a large ‘Takfiristan’ stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf.

As a sincere student of the school of that Sage of the Age, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini [RA], he had grown up on the battlefronts of the 8-year war the US had imposed on Iran in the 1980s through its agent Saddam of the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad.

He soon evolved into a shrewd diplomat during negotiations and a brilliant military strategist on the battlefields – rolled into one – who through his personal courage on the frontlines, molded the Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians, Yemenis, and resistance units of other countries into formidable forces instilling fears in the hearts of terrorists and their mentors.

This was the reason the dastardly US forces feared him, the takfiri terrorists were terrified of him, the Zionists were frustrated of their plot to dismember Syria, and the filthy rich reactionary Arab regimes hated him for the hundreds of billions of dollars of losses they had incurred in vain in funding and fanning terrorism in Muslim countries.

As commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], his cherished goal was the liberation of holy al-Quds and all of Palestine, which will indeed be achieved, in view of the fact, no less a revolutionary figure that Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh had hailed him at his funeral ceremony as “Martyr of al-Quds.”

A martyr does not die but is alive and receives sustenance from the Lord Most High in Whose path he gave his life, as is evident by the Ayahs of the holy Quran.

This means the blood of martyrs always triumphs over the swords and other instruments of death that the cowardly use in the vain hope of silencing the brave, as was demonstrated by Imam Husain [AS] in Karbala, and as Martyrs Soleimani, Abu Mahdi, and others have shown, by following the immortal path of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad [SAWA].

No wonder that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Sayyed Ali Khamenei has hailed Soleimani as a symbol of hope, self-confidence and bravery and a manifestation of resistance and victory.

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Arbaeen Walk: A Life-changing Journey of Love

September 27, 2021

Arbaeen Walk: A Life-changing Journey of Love

By Syed Zafar Mehdi – Press TV

Millions of ardent lovers, in a demonstration of unfathomable love and devotion for their beloved, walk seamlessly and untiringly from one sacred city to another, day and night, braving inclement weather and ominous security threats.

Men and women, young and old, they come from different corners of the world and converge at one place. They call it heaven.

It is not an excerpt from a gripping page-turner, laced with figments of imagination. It is a beautiful miracle I saw unfold before my eyes two years ago. A miracle that repeats every year.

If you haven’t guessed already, I am talking about the largest and the greatest rally against terrorism and extremism that takes place in the second lunar month, forty days from Ashura, which marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain [AS] and his followers in the desert plains of Karbala 14 centuries ago.

It’s not merely a walk. It is a mark of protest against all forms and manifestations of terrorism, fascism, imperialism, despotism, and oppression perpetuated by state and non-state actors.

It is a rallying cry in support of the oppressed, weak and powerless. It is a reaffirmation of pledge to uphold the principles exemplified by the ‘master of challengers’ in Karbala.

The journey of a lifetime

Arbaeen walk takes place from Najaf to Karbala – from the final resting place of the ‘commander of the faithful’ to that of the ‘master of the martyrs’. It is a journey of love.

Two years ago, I was blessed with an opportunity to embark on this life-changing journey. It was the fulfillment of a long-cherished dream.

For years, I had heard fascinating stories from those who traveled there before me. I also watched video documentaries and read articles and travelogues about it. Now it was time to live the dream. The feeling was surreal.

As a journalist, my work requires me to travel extensively. It has taken me to many amazing places past several years. But this time it was not work, but love that was taking me to Iraq.

Exactly a week before Arbaeen, I grabbed my backpack and boarded a bus at south Tehran’s bus terminal for Shalamcheh, a border town in western Khuzestan province. The bus reached the border in the wee hours of morning. As we de-boarded the bus, the scenes were spectacular.

Tens of thousands of people were jostling for space to enter Iraq by foot. I had never seen such scenes in my life. Everyone was visibly excited for the journey ahead. The chants of ‘Ya Hussain’ filled the air, as the sun peeked slowly over the misty desert horizon.

It was a long wait at the border terminal, but nobody seemed to grumble. I stood in a serpentine queue for about three hours before I could cross over. The moment I stepped on the soil of Iraq, I was reminded of Neil Armstrong’s words when he touched down on the lunar surface. It was a small step but a giant leap. The feeling was overwhelming. I had made it.

After a walk of few kilometers in ‘no-man’s land’ that divides the two countries, I boarded another bus on the Iraqi side of border to Najaf. It was a long and arduous journey in a bus teeming with pilgrims but the excitement and eagerness to reach the destination overshadowed everything. All minds and eyes were glued to the golden dome of Imam Ali’s [AS] mausoleum in Najaf. Despite weariness, no one slept on the way. When the bus finally halted at the terminal in Najaf, it was unreal. We were in the city of the ‘commander of the faithful.’

Prelude to the walk

In Najaf, streets were teeming with pilgrims who had flocked from different parts of the world. Local people had set up stalls, serving visitors sweetened drinks, fruits and snacks. I had heard about the hospitality of Iraqis and here I was experiencing it. As I made my way through the crowd, two young boys who sensed that I was a foreigner offered to host me in Najaf.

It was a beautiful and kind gesture from complete strangers with whom the only relation I had was love for Ahlulbayt. We happened to be the devotees of the man who was known in the city of Kufa as the ‘father of orphans’ for his nobility and large-heartedness.

I politely turned down their offer as one of my school-time friends in India, now a student at the Najaf seminary, was waiting for me. The food stalls were all around me, and food was being served with love and warmth, but somehow my hunger had fizzled out. I just wanted to reach the shrine of Imam Ali [AS].

It was walking distance from the terminal and I took steps as briskly as I possibly could. The crowd kept swelling around me and my marathonesque speed diminished. It seemed the whole world had converged there.

There are many small, winding lanes around the shrine and all of them were crammed with people. After much labor, I reached a point from where I could see the beautiful golden dome of the shrine giving out its radiance. I momentarily stood still and had a long, sharp look at it. This was a moment I had waited for so long.

The walk continued uninterrupted until I reached close to the shrine. The next challenge was to go inside the shrine. I stood at the imposing gates, with barely any space to put my foot down. A few moments later, a tsunami of people pushed me toward the main hall of the magnificent shrine. Tears yelled from my eyes irrepressibly.

Here I was, in the city of my Imam, inside his shrine, beneath his dome, right in front of his grave. I wanted to believe what I was seeing, feeling and experiencing. I wanted to believe that it was real, not a dream.

Inside the shrine, I saw people of different nationalities, different languages, different skin colors, different age groups crying, screaming, smiling, beaming – a whole range of pure human emotions. ‘Ya Ali’ was reverberating from all corners, a chant that has a universal appeal, a slogan you associate with the campaigners of truth and justice everywhere.

My two days in Najaf gave me a lifetime of memories to cherish. I stayed at my friend’s house, close to the shrine, but my host was Amiral Momineen [AS] himself. I felt at home. I never felt that way anywhere else, until I reached Karbala.

The walk to heaven

It was finally time to head toward the land that I had heard about, read about, and thought about. The land soaked in the blood of 72 martyrs, including the grandson of the apostle of God. Whenever the talk veers to Karbala, our eyes turn moist. With these tears, as Imam Khomeini once said, we have razed to ground powerful empires.

Karbala is an idea, a concept and a movement that will always have significance and relevance. Imam’s uprising in those desert plains should strengthen our resolve to speak truth to power, to be the voice of voiceless, to campaign for truth and justice.

As Dr. Ali Shariati says, martyrs gave their blood, now survivors have to carry the message of that blood to future generations. Imam Hussain [AS] gave blood and Hazrat Zainab [SA] became an eloquent tongue of that blood.

Arbaeen walk is an endeavor that seeks to keep alive the movement of Karbala, to convey the message of blood to future generations. It is a movement against terrorism, fascism and despotism. It is a movement that seeks to safeguard and promote human values of love and compassion and condemn bigotry, tyranny and exploitation of powerful elites. It is a movement for humanity and its appeal cuts across the barriers of religion, caste, color and creed, which is precisely why non-Shias or for that matter even non-Muslims join this greatest march on earth.

For one week prior to Arbaeen, every day tens of thousands start the walk towards Karbala from Najaf. We began our walk three days before Arbaeen from the compound of Imam Ali [AS]’s shrine. The streets were swarming with people wearing black dresses, holding flags, banners and placards, and chanting ‘Labbaik Ya Hussain’. It was not a dream anymore. I believed what I was seeing.

The whole journey of around 80 km [50 miles] from Najaf to Karbala is marked with 1400 poles, corresponding with the number of years that have passed since the tragic event of Karbala. It takes about two days and two nights to cover this stretch depending on the pace of walk and stoppages in between. When we started the walk, it was drizzling with a gentle breeze. There were men, women, children and elderly all around me, walking towards the same destination.

For the love of Hussain [AS]

Along the way from Najaf to Karbala, stalls were set up by local residents, charities, mosques and foreign aid groups to ensure no pilgrim goes hungry or thirsty. Cooks prepared massive quantities of stewed lamb, grilled fish, beans, fresh bread and rice. There were small makeshift tents lined with foam mattresses and woolen blankets for people to rest or sleep. For those tired, there were masseurs to give them quick and revitalizing massage. For shoes covered with dust, there were volunteers to polish them. There were also mobile bathrooms to have a quick shower and mobile ambulances in case of a medical emergency.

And they charged absolutely nothing. Just for the love of Ahlulbayt.

In recent years, before the pandemic struck, the rush of pilgrims on Arbaeen went up tremendously. The year I went, the figure touched the staggering 15 million, even though the official figure was different. The year before that was the first Arbaeen pilgrimage since the Iraqi government declared thumping victory over Daesh.

All these years, people have been going on this pilgrimage despite the Daesh presence in the country, which is quite remarkable. Only those with unflinching faith and unshakable conviction are capable of taking such huge risks. It is safe to suggest that this greatest protest against terrorism was a key factor in the elimination of the dreaded terrorist group from Iraq.

Security concerns, however, did not play on my mind. Before Iran, I spent a few years in Afghanistan, reporting on the daily incidents of violence. And I grew up in Kashmir, the world’s largest militarized zone. It was normal for me.

On the way I grabbed a flag with ‘Ya Abal Fazl’ in one hand and a placard related to my own bruised and bleeding homeland – Kashmir – in the other hand. I felt like a soldier dressed up for the war. It was overwhelming with a sea of people walking, running, scampering, crawling towards the abode of Aba Abdillah [AS].

On the way, I witnessed many incredible scenes. I saw a young man carrying his elderly mother on his shoulders. I saw a father pushing a wheelchair with his physically impaired son perched on it. I saw a 3-year old girl standing on a bench in the middle of night offering sweets to the travelers. I saw families walking together, a grandfather holding the hand of his granddaughter, singing soul-stirring elegies in the memory of the martyrs of Karbala.

Millions of people walking towards Karbala had different nationalities, came from different cultures, spoke different languages, but what united them was their love for Ahlulbayt and commitment to honor their memory. It was like small tributaries merging into a gigantic sea. They proudly held aloft flags of their respective countries and marched in unison. Majority of them were Iranians, but many of them also came from Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, India, Kashmir, Turkey, Syria, Indonesia, and some European countries.

I met two university students from Australia who had come all the way from Sydney to witness the spectacle. They had heard about it from friends which prompted them to embark on the awe-inspiring journey.

“This is spectacular. I have never seen anything like this, such massive crowd and yet so well-organized,” one of them told me in our ‘walk the talk’. “Saudi authorities should learn from Iraqis how to manage such a big religious gathering.”

I bumped across people from different nationalities and we instantly hit it off. The conversations ranged from Iraq’s successful fight against Daesh, America’s war crimes in the region, the secret dalliance of Arab states with the Zionist regime, situation of religious minorities in South Asia, and the relevance of Karbala in our times. We walked and talked and discovered that we agreed on many things. We became friends and companions in the walk.

This is how Arbaeen can be a stimulating intellectual exercise and a cultural exchange between people of various nationalities and cultures that come together for a common cause.

Hospitality and kindness redefined

On day one of the walk, I met some friends along the way. Days were relatively hot and nights were extremely cold. At every step along the way, there were friendly hosts urging walkers to sit for a sweetened black Iraqi tea and snacks.

We stopped at one small stall where a 30-something husband and wife were serving tea and fresh dates to travelers. They belonged to a local village and worked in farms to earn money for livelihood. Serving the guests of Imam Hussain [AS], the man told me, was a privilege for him.

“I save money every month from my meager earnings and accumulate all the savings to spend them on Aba Abdillah’s [AS] guests on Arbaeen. I can starve myself to make sure pilgrims have no reason to complain.” His words touched me deeply.

We continued on the journey until the night fell and then halted to sleep for a few hours before resuming the walk. All tents were packed and there was hardly any space to lie down. The night was dark and cold as we looked for shelter. Some young boys came from nowhere and offered us some woolen blankets, which saved us from the potential cold stroke.

A few meters away, an elderly man said something to us in Arabic that we didn’t understand. Then he gestured towards a small roadside tent and led us inside. Luckily there was still some space left. It’s amazing the way complete strangers show such kindness and compassion there.

At the break of dawn, we woke up for prayers and then resumed the walk until afternoon prayers, with few hurried tea breaks in between. On the way, the buzz was electrifying as we inched closer to our destination. Iranian pilgrims recited Farsi elegies, Indians and Pakistanis recited Urdu dirges, pilgrims from Lebanon and Syria joined the chorus with Arabic latmiyas. All melodies combined to create a heartwarming ambience.

Following the afternoon prayers, we walked briskly, perhaps out of excitement. We started counting the number of poles we left behind until a big billboard appeared on the way: ‘Welcome to Karbala’ written in Arabic. My heart skipped a beat. The moment had arrived.

I was in Karbala but the shrines were still a few miles away. It was an unbelievable crowd, barely a space to breathe. But who wants to breathe in Karbala, I told myself. I would proudly breathe my last in Bainul Haramian, in between the shrines of two brothers. Slowly, very slowly, the crowd moved forward until the shrine of Aba Abdillah [AS] appeared before my eyes.

Welcome to Karbala

I was officially in heaven. Every thought disappeared from my mind. All I could think of was that fateful day 14 centuries ago when a small group of holy warriors confronted the army of a mighty empire. The scenes started appearing before my eyes. An infant child being taken to the battlefield, a young man fighting like a seasoned warrior, a standard bearer going to fetch water from a nearby stream and never coming back, little children crying of thirst and the beloved grandson of the apostle of God crying out loud: ‘Is there anyone to help me.’

The question was not directed at the soldiers of Yazid ibn Muawiya. Imam Hussain [AS] expected no mercy from them. It was directed at his followers. It was directed at us. This march of the millions from Najaf to Karbala every year is in response to that call, which still echoes in the hearts and minds of believers.

As I stood in front of the shrine of the master of martyrs [AS], time came to a grinding halt. There were people from all sides trying to get closer to the shrine. In the crowd I lost my fellow companions. But it hardly mattered now. I was standing next to Hussain ibn Ali [AS]. Everything else lost the meaning. I felt like a mighty warrior who had conquered the world.

With much difficulty, I made my way through the crowd into Bainul Haramian, a small stretch between the shrines of brothers – Imam Hussain [AS] and Abol Fazl Abbas [AS]. This is an epicenter of universe for the lovers of Ahlulbayt [AS]. I looked at Hussain [AS] and then I looked at Abol Fazl [AS], I felt as if they were sitting together and watching us. I had never felt so emotional in my life.

It was my first visit to Karbala and here I was standing between the two brothers who changed the course of history with their unflinching faith and indomitable valor.

I walked inside the shrine of Imam Hussain [AS], with a tornado of people, and saw it jam-packed. In one corner of the hall, I found a little space to stand and recite Ziyarat e Arbaeen. I didn’t want to leave that hall. I wanted to make it my home.

Then I went to the shrine of Abol Fazl Abbas [AS], the standard bearer of Karbala, whose name was enough to leave enemies in disarray. As I slowly walked inside his shrine, I could see he still had the same aura. People screamed and cried ‘Ya Abol Fazl’. There was hardly any eye that was not moist.

One Iranian group recited the beautiful elegy inside the hall – Alamdar nayamad [The flagbearer did not return]. As children, we are often told to chant ‘Ya Abol Fazl’ if we are afraid of anything or if we sense any danger. Here I was, inside the shrine of Abol Fazl, calling him, sharing my secrets, telling him about my ordeals. I know he listened.

The two days in Karbala were life-changing for me. I did not sleep at night. I sat in Bainul Haramain and gazed at the two shrines all night.

After two unforgettable days in Karbala, I left for Baghdad to see visit Imam Moosa Kazim [AS], my great-grandfather. The crowd was comparatively less here. The next day I left for Samarra to visit Imam Askari [AS], which brought back memories of the 2006 terrorist attack. Those terrorists, like Yazid, have no trace anymore. From Samarra I took a bus to Mehran border, and returned to Iran.

The pilgrimage came to an end. The most beautiful 10 days of my life. I made a solemn pledge to return every year. That, however, didn’t happen as Covid-19 pandemic disrupted everything. But the pledge remains in place, the pledge of allegiance to the beloved, the meaning of which can be understood only by true lovers.

Who Really Runs the Middle East?

September 25, 2021

Who Really Runs the Middle East?

By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

Afghanistan is on many people’s minds lately, though the sentiment is rather mixed. Some think of it as a cause for celebration, others for deep concern, and then there are those who think it an utter disaster that justifies foreign re-entry.

Most of the western concern arises out of 9/11 and the Taliban’s supposed connection to this through Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, however, as Scott Ritter (who was the lead analyst for the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade on the Soviet war in Afghanistan) wrote:

The entire Afghan conflict must be examined considering this reality – everything is a lie. Every battle, every campaign, every contract written and implemented – everything was founded in a lie…

Admiral McRaven, when speaking of the operation to kill Bin Laden, noted that there wasn’t anything fundamentally special about that mission in terms of the tactics. ‘I think that night we ran 11 or 12 [other] missions in Afghanistan,’ McRaven noted. Clearly there was a military focus beyond simply killing Bin Laden. It was secretive work, reportedly involving the assassination of Taliban members, that often resulted in innocent civilians beings killed.

It should be noted that, as of 2019, McRaven believed that this kind of special operations activity should be continued in Afghanistan for years to come. So much for the US mission in Afghanistan being defined by the death of Bin Laden. The mission had become death, and the careers that were defined by those deaths.

The fact is the war in Afghanistan did not need to be fought. We could have ended the threat posed by Bin Laden simply by negotiating with the Taliban in the aftermath of 9/11, providing the evidence we claimed to have linking Bin Laden to the terrorist attacks on the United States. Any student of Afghanistan worth their salt knows the fundamental importance of honor that is enshrined in the concepts of Pashtunwali, the unwritten ethical code that defines the traditional lifestyle of the Pashtun people. If, as we claimed, Bin Laden carried out an attack on women and children while he was living under the protection of Pashtunwali, then his dishonor is that of the Pashtun tribes. To clear their honor, they would seek justice – in this case, evicting Bin Laden and his followers from Afghanistan.

In fact, the Taliban made precisely this offer.

For America, however, this would have been an unsatisfying result. We needed blood, not justice, and we sent our troops to Afghanistan to stack bodies, which they did, in prodigious numbers. Most of these bodies were Taliban. We excused this by claiming the Taliban were providing safe haven to Bin Laden, and as such were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

Which was a lie.

Scott Ritter (who was a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from ’91-98) had also played a leading role in bringing to the public’s attention the lies told to justify the illegal war in Iraq, which was based off of cooked British intelligence.

It was not just based on the illusion of “justice,” there was a deeper and much more disturbing agenda under the patriotic trumpet blaring.

In this light, Afghanistan is indeed an incredible American “failure,” not only in failing to install their puppet government; it has also failed the American people, however, not in the way most are talking about.

The 20 year, some say occupancy others say terrorizing, of Afghanistan, is estimated at $1-2 trillion. This is only for the case of Afghanistan, it does not account for the total cost thus far of the War on Terror. Such extravagant spending with really nothing to show for it but destruction, the slaughter of innocents, instability and chaos; you would think the United States must be a very rich country to afford such a budget with no clear goal or objective. Instead, what we find is that the American economy is tanking and the living standard is plummeting, while drug use and overdose rates are sky-rocketing and suicide is among the top causes of death in the United States, especially among their youth.

What is going on here? Have the Americans gone mad? Or is there something much much more sinister afoot?

This situation cannot just be explained away as incompetence or the money-making business of war, or even the crazed end-of-world ideologies of neo-conservatives or Zionists, although these are all major factors.

The reason for this is because there has been something operating within the Middle East for much longer, it is even the reason why we call the Middle East and the Far East by such a name, it is the reason for why many countries in this region have the boundaries they do, and was the originator of the Palestine/Israel conflict.

It is also found at the center of the origin and funding of Islamic terrorism as we see in its modern form today.

Whose “Arab Awakening”?

The renunciation will not be easy. Jewish hopes have been raised to such a pitch that the non-fulfilment of the Zionist dream of a Jewish state in Palestine will cause intense disillusionment and bitterness. The manifold proofs of public spirit and of capacity to endure hardships and face danger in the building up of the national home are there to testify to the devotion with which a large section of the Jewish people cherish the Zionist ideal. And it would be an act of further cruelty to the Jews to disappoint those hopes if there existed some way of satisfying them, that did not involve cruelty to another people. But the logic of facts is inexorable. It shows that no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.” [emphasis added]

– the concluding paragraph of George Antonius’ “The Arab Awakening” (1938), graduate from Cambridge University, civil servant in the British Mandate of Palestine

Much of what is responsible for the war and havoc in the Middle East today has the British orchestrated so-called “Arab Awakening” to thank, led by characters such as E.G. Browne, St. John Philby, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, and Gertrude Bell. Although its origins go as far back as the 19th century, it was only until the early 20th century, that the British were able to reap significant results from its long harvest.

The Arab Revolt of 1916-1918, had been, to the detriment of the Arab people, a British led rebellion. The British claimed that their sole interest in the affair was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and had given their word that these Arab territories would be freed and allowed independence if they agreed to rebel, in large part led and directed by the British.

It is a rather predictable feature of the British to lie and double cross and thus it should be of no surprise to anyone that their intentions were quite the opposite of what they had promised and thanks to the Sykes-Picot Russian leak, were revealed in their entire shameful glory.

Once the Arab Revolt was “won” against the Ottoman Empire, instead of the promised Arab independence, the Middle East was carved up into zones of influence under British and French colonial rule. Puppet monarchies were created in regions that were considered not under direct colonial subjugation in order to continue the illusion that Arabs remained in charge of sacred regions such as Mecca and Medina.


In central Arabia, Hussein ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the puppet leader of the Arab Revolt laid claim to the title Caliph in 1924, which his rival Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud rejected and declared war, defeating the Hashemites. Hussein (British Cairo Office favourite) abdicated and Ibn Saud (British India Office favourite), was proclaimed King of Hejaz and Najd in 1926, which led to the founding of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Al Saud (House of Saud) warriors of Wahhabism were a formidable strike force that the British believed would help London gain control of the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

Hussein ibn Ali’s son Faisal (under the heavy tutelage of T.E. Lawrence, Cairo Office) was bestowed as King of Iraq and Hussein’s other son, Abdullah I was established as the Emir of Transjordan until a negotiated legal separation of Transjordan from Britain’s Palestine mandate occurred in 1946, whereupon he was crowned King of Jordan.

While the British were promising Arab independence they simultaneously were promising a homeland in Palestine to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917 states:

“His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

Palestine had been seized by the British during the so-called “Arab Revolt” on December 11th, 1917 when General Allenby marched into Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate and declared martial law over the city. Palestine has remained occupied ever since.


Britain would receive the mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations in July 1922.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing thousands of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire. In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.


The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel’s “prescription” and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police.

Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947. Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

“We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.”

– Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

In 1869, a man named Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the intellectual founder of the Salafiyya movement, went to India where British led colonial authorities welcomed him with honors and graciously escorted him aboard a government owned vessel on an all-expenses paid voyage to the Suez. [1]

In Cairo he was adopted by the Egyptian prime minister Riad Pasha, a notorious enemy of the emerging nationalist movement in Egypt. Pasha persuaded Afghani to stay in Egypt and allowed him to take up residence in Cairo’s 900 year old Al Azhar mosque considered the center of Islamic learning worldwide, where he received lodging and a monthly government stipend (paid for by the British).[2]

While Egypt was fighting its nationalist fight from 1879-1882, Afghani and his chief disciple Muhammad Abduh travelled together first to Paris and then to Britain, it was in Britain that they would make a proposal for a pan-Islamic alliance among Egypt, Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan against Czarist Russia.[3]

What Afghani was proposing to the British was that they provide aid and resources to support his formation of a militant Islam sect that would favour Britain’s interest in the Middle East, in other words, Afghani was offering to fight Islam with Islam to service British interests, having stated in one of his works “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.[4]

Although it is said that the British refused this offer, this is not likely considering the support Afghani would receive in creating the intellectual foundation for a pan-Islamic movement with British patronage and the support of England’s leading orientalist E.G. Browne, the godfather of twentieth century Orientalism and teacher of St John Philby and T.E. Lawrence.

E.G. Browne would make sure the work of Afghani would continue long beyond his death by lionising him in his 1910 “The Persian Revolution,” considered an authoritative history of the time.

In 1888, Abduh, the chief disciple of Afghani, would return to Egypt in triumph with the full support of the representatives of her Majesty’s imperial force and took the first of several positions in Cairo, openly casting his lot with Lord Cromer, who was the symbol of British imperialism in Egypt.

Abduh would found, with the hold of London’s Egyptian proconsul Evelyn Baring (aka Lord Cromer) who was the scion of the enormously powerful banking clan (Barings Bank) under the city of London, the Salafiyya movement.[5]

Abduh had attached himself to the British rulers of Egypt and created the cornerstone of the Muslim Brotherhood which dominated the militant Islamic right throughout the twentieth century.

In 1899, Abduh reached the pinnacle of his power and influence, and was named mufti of Egypt.


In 1902, Riyadh fell to Ibn Saud and it was during this period that Ibn Saud established the fearsome Ikhwan (translated as “brotherhood”). From the 1920s onward, the new Saudi state merged its Wahhabi orthodoxy with the Salafiyya movement (which would be organised into the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928).

William Shakespear, a famed British agent, forged the first formal treaty between England and Saudi Arabia which was signed in 1915, which bound London and Arabia for years before Saudi Arabia became a country. “It formally recognized Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of the Nejd and its Dependencies under British protection. In return, Ibn Saud undertook to follow British advice.[6]

Harry St. John Bridger Philby, a British operative schooled by E.G. Browne and father to the legendary triple agent Kim Philby, would succeed Shakespear as Great Britain’s liaison to Ibn Saud under the British India Office, the friendly rival of the Cairo Arab Bureau office which was sponsoring T.E. Lawrence of Arabia.

In Egypt 1928, Hassan al-Banna (a follower of Afghani and Abduh) founded the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), the organization that would change the course of history in the twentieth century Middle East.

Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood was established with a grant from England’s Suez Canal Company[7] and from that point on, British diplomats and intelligence service, along with the British puppet King Farouq would use the Muslim Brotherhood as a truncheon against Egypt’s nationalists and later against Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. (For more on this refer to my paper.)

To get the Muslim Brotherhood off the ground, the Suez Canal Company helped Banna build the mosque in Ismailia that would serve as its headquarters and base of operation.[8] The fact that Banna created the organization in Ismailia is itself worthy of note. For England, the Suez Canal was the indispensable route to its prize possession, India, and in 1928 the town Ismailia happened to house not only the company’s offices but a major British military base built during WWI. It was also, in the 1920s a center of pro-British sentiment in Egypt.

In the post-WWI world, England reigned supreme, the flag of the British Empire was everywhere from the Mediterranean to India. A new generation of kings and potentates ruled over British dominated colonies, mandates, vassal states, and semi-independent fiefdoms in Egypt, Arabia, Iraq, Transjordan and Persia. To varying degrees those monarchies were beholden to London.

In the half century between 1875 and 1925 the building blocks of the militant Islamic right were cemented in place by the British Empire.

Islamic Banking Made in Geneva/London

Islamic banking [that is the banking system dominated presently by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States] was born in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia and then spread to the far corners of the Muslim world. Eventually the Islamic banking movement became a vehicle not only for exporting political Islam but for sponsoring violence. However, Islamic banking did not get off the ground on its own, as Ibrahim Warde (a renowned scholar of international finance) explains in his book “Islamic Finance in the Global Economy,” Islamic banking:

operates more out of London, Geneva, or the Bahamas than it does out of Jeddah, Karachi or Cairo…Ideologically, both liberalism and economic Islam were driven by their common opposition to socialism and economic dirigisme…Even Islamic Republics have on occasion openly embraced neo-liberalism…In Sudan, between 1992 and the end of 1993, Economics Minister Abdul Rahim Hamdi – a disciple of Milton Friedman and incidentally a former Islamic banker in London – did not hesitate to implement the harshest free-market remedies dictated by the International Monetary Fund. He said he was committed to transforming the heretofore statist economy ‘according to free-market rules, because this is how an Islamic economy should function.’ ” [emphasis added]

Perhaps the best case study to this phenomenon is the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

BCCI was an international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The bank was registered in Luxembourg with head offices in Karachi and London. A decade after opening, BCCI had over 400 branches in 78 countries in excess of $20 billion USD, making it the seventh largest private bank in the world.

In the 1980s investigations into BCCI led to the discovery of its involvement in massive money laundering and other financial crimes, and that the BCCI had illegally and secretly gained the control of a major American bank, First American, according to Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA) who had been investigating the bank for over two years.

BCCI was also to be found guilty for illegally buying another American bank, the Independence Bank of Los Angeles, using a Saudi businessman Ghaith Paraon as the puppet owner. The American depositors lost most of their money when BCCI was forced to foreclose since it was essentially operating a Ponzi scheme to fund illegal activity of all sorts.

According to Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald’s book “The Valediction”:

Afghanistan offered the opportunity for BCCI to migrate the lucrative heroin business from Southeast Asia [Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam] to the Pakistani/Afghan border under the cover of destabilization. President Carter supported Brzezinski’s provocations into Soviet territory from the minute they got into the White House. He then sanctioned Brzezinski’s plan to use Afghanistan to lure the Soviet Union into its own Vietnam and lied to the public about it when they fell into the trap on December 27, 1979.

…The destabilization kills three birds with one stone. It weakens the Soviets…It acts as a cover for moving the heroin business out of Vietnam/Laos and Cambodia to a safe haven on the Pakistan frontier with Afghanistan – a trade that propped up the British Empire financially for over a hundred years.

…Afghan drug dealer and CIA asset Gulbuddin Hekmatyar…[then organizes] a deal with the renegade gangster, Afghan prime minister, and possible CIA asset Hafizullah Amin…to make Kabul the center of the world heroin trade…pays for the off-the-books operation with drug money brought in by Hekmatyar and laundered through a Pakistani bank…known as BCCI. Everything goes smoothly until the new US Ambassador Adolph Dubs launches a campaign against the destabilization…

US Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated, just seven months after taking his post, under an extremely suspect situation, on February 14, 1979, to which Gould and Fitzgerald do a superb investigation of, as well as what really happened in Afghanistan in 1979, in their book “The Valediction.

Investigators in the United States and the UK determined that BCCI had been “set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection.[9]

This is an incredibly sophisticated operation, and interestingly, uses the very same methods that the City of London has been using for centuries and presently operates to a diabolical perfection today. There is no way that a solo Pakistani financier, even if he was financed by the Sheik of Abu Dhabi, could rise in less than a decade, operating on the turf of ancient banking channels that go back several centuries, to rise to become the seventh largest bank in the netherworld of finance without a little help from the big boys.

On July 29th, 1991, a Manhattan grand jury indicted BCCI on twelve accounts of fraud, money laundering and larceny. Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA), who was in charge of the investigation, has described BCCI as “the largest bank fraud in world financial history.”

Through the Rabbit Hole and Out Again

Today, the actions of the United States can best be understood in the context of the Anglo-American Empire, with Wall Street operating as an extension of the ancient banking channels of the City of London and Geneva.

The disastrous foreign policy of namely Britain and the United States in the War on Terror Crusade has been exposed multiple times. That is, that the very governments who have been shouting the loudest against Islamic extremism and for stability in the Middle East, are the very ones who have been weaponising, training and funding such terrorist groupings. The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, ISIS (and all its viral variants) would not exist today if it were not for namely Britain’s age old strategy.

So what is the goal?

Well, what does any empire seek? Global domination.

In this light, the War on Terror is exposed for what it truly is. It is meant to impoverish and destroy the national sovereignty of the people, not only of the Middle East (or more accurately Southwest Asia), but as we are seeing clearly today, it has also acted as a slow blood-letting of the western people, whose economies are much weaker today than they were 20 years ago.

While western countries are increasingly unable to provide a proper standard of living, with mass unemployment, lack of healthcare, increased crime and suicide rates, and increased overdoses and homelessness, and pretty much everything you would expect to rise during a Dark Age straight out of a Goya painting, these “first-world” governments are applying further austerity measures on the people, even after prolonged lockdowns, while openly pumping trillions of dollars into wars that not only fund the destruction of entire nations, but funds the global drug, arms and sex-trafficking trade. All of this dirty money then circles back into the London-Geneva fondi, benefitting a select class that has existed and thrived for centuries on this sort of backdrop.

Nobody has benefitted from this War on Terror except the global elite.

So stop getting sucked into the same old same old lies; stop being a slave to the system and let us finally unite and stand up against the true common enemy of the people of the world.

The author can be reached at https://cynthiachung.substack.com/

  1. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam” 
  2. Ibid. 
  3. The proposal to London from Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was reported by a British Orientalist and author W.S. Blunt, a friend of Afghani’s. It is cited in C.C. Adams, “Islam and Modernism in Egypt.” 
  4. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam.” 
  5. Ibid. 
  6. David Holden and Richard Johns, “The House of Saud.” 
  7. Richard P. Mitchell, “The Society of the Muslim Brothers.” 
  8. Ibid. 
  9. John Kerry “The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations.” 

Sayyed Nasrallah: When Dealing with the Developments, We must Look for Our Responsibilities

August 14 2021

Sayyed Nasrallah: When Dealing with the Developments, We must Look for Our Responsibilities

By Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah urged followers to be mindful of their Taklif [religious mandate] when dealing with political, security, economic, and social events and developments that have repercussions on those around them.

In his speech during the fifth night of Muharram at the central Ashura commemorations hosted by Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah explained that “when any of us speak in this country [Lebanon], it has consequences and repercussions on the fate and future of the people.”

“I always tell the brothers that I hope to work as a preacher among the people and at the battlefront and not have to bear responsibility for decisions because it’s a very big and dangerous responsibility,’ His Eminence narrated.

He further stated that the people in these circumstances have a shared responsibility.

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that after nearly 30 years of shouldering responsibility in this march, he knows very well what the weight of the responsibility is.

“Day and night, in every situation and every assessment of a situation, we must think of our hereafter because on the Day of Resurrection we will stand between God’s hands and will be asked about the decisions we made and be held accountable for it.”

He further underscored that “There is no doubt that Hezbollah today is the largest of the Lebanese parties, and this is a positive thing, but it entails responsibilities.”

Sayyed Nasrallah saw that among the historical projections today are those who say, “Where are we from Hussein [PBUH] and how can we be patient in this situation?”

“Imam Hussein rose for great goals, so we compare him to a small battle here or there.”

He also highlighted that some argue that if they don’t carry the sword to fight for diesel, they abandoned Hussein [PBUH].

“This is not correct, we must pay attention to historical projections,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “Hussein [PBUH] went to Karbala for very great goals, in order to preserve Islam, reform the nation, and restore the system of government to a great Islamic prophetic rule. He rose in a very sensitive juncture.”

Regarding the misuse of historical events, especially those related to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, His Eminence said, “the peace treaty with ‘Israel’ is invalid because you are giving up land owned by the Palestinian people to the occupiers. This peace is illogical and inhumane. What is its relationship to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah? This is haram.”

He warned that there are people who criticize and have a different assessment. “We have to discuss and guide them, and this is our responsibility, not to attack the critics and lose their support, because the goal of pressure is to make people confused and suspicious.”

“One of the forms of confrontation is to take the initiative to explain, communicate, and clarify,” he added.

He called on people to bear some and understand others since difficult circumstances put pressure on people and leave them confused, objecting, and with questions, adding that this is normal and even happens to the elite.

Martyr Qasim Soleimani and His Ever-presence in Every Battlefield in Yemen

Martyr Qasim Soleimani and His Ever-presence in Every Battlefield in Yemen

January 05, 2021

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

And never presume those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. On the contrary, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provisions. (Quran, 3:169)

One year ago, Sardar Soleimani, the Commander of Qods Force of the Islamic Revolution was killed in the hands of personalities that are in a tight competition with themselves to win first place in wretchedness and virulence. On the occasion of the 1st anniversary of Sardar Soleimani’s martyrdom, the leader of the Ansarullah Party and the resistance group in Yemen, Abulmalik Al-Houthi sent an official letter the content of which is quite noteworthy and significant.

I have chosen to translate that letter for the Saker blog for three specific reasons. First, to remember Sardar Soleimani’s martyrdom by highlighting Yemeni people’s significant role in regional resistance against the most wretched and virulent characters in the world. Second, to give a glimpse of how Sardar Soleimani has influenced, in life and in death, some of the most prominent personalities and movements in the Resistance camp. Third, to provide some insight into one of the most significant doctrines in Shi’a Islam: that of Mahdawiyyat that relates to notable events of the End of Time.

It is clear that the words and titles Abdulmalik Al-Houthi has used in his letter to describe Sardar Soleimani’s life, the conditions surrounding his martyrdom, his killers, and his role after his martyrdom were carefully chosen and are quite loaded with meaning. The specific verses of Quran he recites, too, carry significant messages especially for those who are deeply informed about Shi’a Muslim’s history and the prophecies regarding Mahdawiyyat signs and symbols in Islam.

Shi’a follows the developments in Yemen with a special interest and care because it is, according to reliable Shi’a sources, from Yemen that the movement and push against world injustices and oppressive transgressors begins its very final march to the heart of the army of the transgressors. Their activities, it is stated, will be supported by those of the Iranian Shi’a, God Willing.

Flag of Iran held side-by-side the most widely-used flag of the Houthies.

In the series regarding Imamat and Wilayat Faqih, I will, Inshallah, cover the concepts of Mahdawiyyat and End of Time according to Shi’a. For now, the Al-Houthi Leader of Yemen’s letter is important to review.


“God’s Peace be upon the Great Prophet and his Pure Household.”

“God Almighty states in Quran, ‘Among the believers, there are men who remained truthful to the pledge they made with Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration’ [Surah 33 (Al-Ahzab), Verse 23]. Says the Truth, God, the Exalted, the Great.’”

“After citing this verse, I am remembering the martyr of the Islamic Ummah and the great warrior, Haj Qasim Soleimani (May God, the Exalted, be satisfied with him), upon whom God’s blessings were bestowed so that he is put side-by-side these believing men [refers to the ones singled out in the Quranic Verse]. The believing men whose most important trait is their sincerity and truthfulness with God, the Exalted.”

“Martyr Haj Qasim Soleimani, while in waiting (wa minhum man yantazir), was resolute and steadfast. The sincerity of Martyr Soliemani relationship with God, the Exalted, was evident in his strong will, his tireless efforts, and his dedication in the path of God, the Exalted. He was an ever-present warrior of Islam in every field and in every battle zone with his strong belief and his unwavering resolve.”

“It was God’s Favor and Blessing to have Martyr Haj Qasim Soleimani’s path in life, from his youth, to be an excellent soldier with belief, strong ethics, and highly effective in the path of God, the Exalted, and to serve with utmost sincerity and loyalty and without interruption, under the flag of Wilayat of Imam Khomeini (May God be satisfied with him) and subsequently under Imam Khamenei (May God protect him).”

“Martyr Haj Qasim Soleimani never tired in this path. The more time passed, the more intense his activities and the greater his impact became. He excelled in belief and sacrifice one step after another.”

“He did not alter his stance and no one could force him to do so because he was the true flag bearer of sincerity just as Imam Ali (Allahu-Salam) states, ‘loyalty and sincerity are twins.’ Just as God, the Exalted, states, ‘they never turn their backs to their promises and pledges.’ And this is the core issue in resistance and in steadfastness under all conditions and along the way. People of this caliber are neither influenced by material and non-material temptations and lose their true color nor do they waiver when faced with challenges and difficulties, nor do they succumb to attrition under ongoing sufferings and obstacles, nor do they become unsteady with talks and bickering of hopeless backbiters.”

“People like these are never afflicted with doubt in their stance and with their adherence to Wilayat and their grasp onto the Wilayat of Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhu-wa-Allihi-wa-Sallam) and his Pure Household. Haj Qasim had borrowed Ali’s (AS) bravery, Hussain’s (AS) sacrifice, and Abbas’s (AS) strong will and endurance. This brave warrior is a student of Sayydu-Shoahda’s [Imam Hussain] school of thought and he was, in his exemplary struggles, sacrifice, bravery, and humbleness, OF Hussain.”

“However, as he lived in the waiting phase (wa minhum man yantazir) and when he began transitioning into the state of martyrdom in the path of God, the Exalted, (wa minhum man qaza nuhbah), I must reiterate this point that Haj Qasim (May God be satisfied with him) achieved a rather special kind of martyrdom: For, the order for his killing was issued by the Yazid of our time, that is Trump and the US, and the operatives of this order were his criminal soldiers who were just like Shimr.”

“Haj Qasim offered his soul to God, the Exalted, and his body was torn into pieces just like that of Ali Akbar (AS). And it is here when our beloved sister Zaynab (SA) states, ‘O, God, please accept this sacrifice from us.’”

“Haj Qasim (May God be satisfied with him) become immortal in history just as he achieved the company of the Great Prophet Muhammad (SAWAW) and other True Prophets and the Sidiqin [The Truthful] and the martyrs and the good-doers regarding God’s Grace and Blessings. And just as he become immortal in the hearts of all free people of the world and the future generations. Just as he is, right now, present with his impacts and roles in every scene and every battlefield alongside us. He is present among us.”

“It was God’s favor upon him to make him a soldier among God’s, the Exalted, soldiers. He possessed one of the highest degrees of insight, intelligence, authenticity, sacrifice, and humbleness just as he was playing a significant role in every scene and every battlefield. Just as he achieve deliverance with his special kind of martyrdom. The sort of martyrdom that demonstrated how effective and impactful he was and how furious the oppressive transgressors were with him.”

“God, the Exalted, granted him the blessing of jihad so that he could, as God’s, the Exalted, soldier to raise the flag of Islam properly and just as it is befitting of devotees of Imam Hussain (AS). Martyrdom in the path of God is honor and dignity for us.”

“O, God Almighty, accept this righteous warrior, Haj Qasim Soleimani, next to You and assign him the most excellent position among the martyrs and grant us the favor to be followers of his path! Sallallahu-wa-Sallam ala Abdihi wa Rasulihi Muhmmad wa Alihi-Tahirin.”

Abdul-Malik Badriddin Al-Huthi,

11 Jamadi-al-Awwal; 6th Day 1399 [January 2, 2020]

May God grant us, too, His Favor to be in the same path as Shahid Sardar Qasim Soleimani, an authentic Shi’a of Imam Ali (AS). Peace be upon you.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the Tenth of Muharram

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the Tenth of Muharram
Video Here

Translated by Staff

Full speech of Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of the tenth day of Muharram (08/30/2020)

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace be upon you, O my master and my lord, O Aba Abdullah and upon souls that gathered in your courtyard. Peace be upon you from me forever as long as I am existent and as long as there are day and night. May Allah not decide this time of my visit to you both to be the last. Peace be upon Hussein, Ali bin Al Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all. May God Almighty reward you.

On the tenth day of the anniversary of the great calamity and tragedy that befell the Muslims and the nation, which we always remember, and every year on this day we offer condolences to the one who is truly consoled, to the one who cried Al-Hussein at his birth and before his martyrdom, the Messenger of Allah, the master of the messengers and the prophets, Muhammad bin Abdullah (PBUH), who was the grandfather of Al-Hussein (PBUH). To the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib (PBUH); to the Mistress of the Women of the Worlds, the mother of Al-Hussein Fatima Al-Zahra (PBUH); to Imam Al-Hassan Al-Mujtaba, the oppressed martyr (PBUH); to our masters and imams; to the remnant of Allah on earth, our souls be sacrificed for him, whose cries his grandfather blood instead of tears; to all Muslims and those who love the household of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), we offer our condolences on this great day and on this painful occasion.
This year, the tenth day [of Muharram], especially for us in Lebanon, comes sadder. The squares and streets in Lebanon, which were crowded and filled with devotees and mourners during times like this, are today empty because of this epidemic that struck the world.

Every year, the scene was always strong and distinctive. It expresses the people’s loyalty, insight, awareness, passion, and love for God, the Messenger of God, and the Messenger of God’s household.

We ask God Almighty to lift this pandemic from all the peoples of the world, from us and from you, so that the we can mark the anniversary next year as it has always been marked throughout the years, God willing.

It has been customary that on the tenth day that we summarize the situation in Karbala, and then from there, we talk about our contemporary issues. Here, I will invoke two well-known positions of the Master of the martyrs, Abu Abdullah Al-Hussein (PBUH).

The first position: When falsehood, its logic, policy, and position prevail and become dominant, while the truth is lost, becomes estranged, and even condemned, every believer, honest and free people are required to take a stance of protest that may reach to martyrdom.

In this position, Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “Can you not see that the truth is not followed, and the falsehood is not shunned?” He said this when he was explaining the reason for his departure and his journey to Karbala as well as the state of the ummah at that time.

“Can you not see that the truth is not followed, and the falsehood is not shunned? In such circumstances a believer should desire to meet Allah.” – if every person will definitely meet God Almighty, and the believer will meet God, let him meet Him while he is right, defending the truth, fighting for the truth, and being martyred for the sake of the truth.

“In such circumstances, a believer should desire to meet Allah. Surely, I regard death as nothing but an honor and life with oppressors as anything but disgrace.” – what kind of life is this when falsehood becomes the one that governs all people’s issues, large and small.

The second position: When the pretenders, dictators, thieves, invaders, and occupiers give you two options: either accept the humiliating solutions and the humiliating life or bear the war they are imposing on you and its consequences. Then, the choice in the school of Karbala is clear, decisive, and strong. 

“Beware that this illegitimate son of the illegitimate one has made me choose between the two: drawing sword and humiliation, and never to humiliation!” – why? Was it a position based on his mood? No!

“Verily, Allah disagrees to it and so do His Prophet, and the sacred laps which nursed us, the modest, and those who abhor disgrace disagree to it that we bow down to the ignoble men, and they exhort us to being killed manly in the battlefield over it.” – this is the summary of the situation on the tenth day in Karbala.

Based on these two foundations, I will delve into some of our current issues.

I have a few words or two points regarding the situation in the region. Regarding the Lebanese situation, there are a number of points. Of course, the issue regarding the southern borders with occupied Palestine, I will include it with the Lebanese situation.

First: Regarding the struggle in the region today, there are two clear scenes or positions for the struggle between right and falsehood, meaning there is no confusion between them.

The first position: Palestine is occupied. The Zionist “Israelis” have been occupying this holy land since 1948 and 1967, in addition to Syria’s occupied Golan, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba Hills, and the Lebanese part of the town of al-Ghajar. There is a clear and unambiguous falsehood here – occupation, invasion, confiscation of the rights of others by force, terrorism, and massacres. There is also a clear and undisputed truth – the right of the Palestinian people to the entirety of Palestine from the sea to the river, the right of the Syrian people to the entire occupied Golan, and the right of the Lebanese people to the rest of their occupied land.

There are always those who want to impose falsehood – occupation by military force, wars, destruction, murder, assassination, displacement, economic siege and starvation. Today, in the face of this falsehood, there are those who stand by the side of truth, those who uphold the truth, and those who fight for this right and resist this occupation. They are the ones who reject this usurping entity. They include countries, peoples, and resistance movements.

Today, on the tenth of Muharram, on the day when faith is expressed firmly, we in Hezbollah and in the Islamic Resistance affirm our categorical commitment to rejecting this usurping entity and not recognizing it even if the whole world acknowledges it. We cannot recognize this apparent falsehood, this injustice, invasion, occupation, and the confiscation of lands, the people’s rights and sanctities. This is our commitment. 

We will remain beside all who fight and confront this entity that is usurping al-Quds, Palestine, the occupied Syrian Golan, and Lebanese territory still under occupation and is threatening the entire region.

The second position: The reality and fate of the peoples, governments, states, and resources not only occupied Palestine, but also the region in which we live. 

There is also a struggle between truth and falsehood. The truth is represented by the people and the governments that express the will of the people. The people in our region want to live in their countries free and dignified. They want their countries’ natural resources for them – oil, gas and water for the people; they want to make their own decisions. 

The falsehood is represented by the American hegemony and the American administration that wants to control and impose governments on peoples; to impose humiliating solutions that serve the interest of the Zionist enemy; to plunder oil and gas; and steal money directly and indirectly. The US represents this apparent falsehood, this clear falsehood.

Among the manifestations of the subjugation attempts and US hegemony on our region, peoples, and countries are the American policies towards occupied Palestine and the Palestinian people’s cause, the imposed war on Yemen six years ago (this war is primarily American with the Saudis and Emiratis being tools for fighting, spending money, buying weapons. But the real decision is an American one. Today, if the Americans want the war on Yemen to end, it will end. The Americans want this war to continue. The Saudis and the Emiratis are American tools. They carry out America’s desires and decisions.), the unjust blockade on Syria and the Caesar Act, the American occupation of a Syrian land east of the Euphrates and the direct plunder of oil fields by US companies, American support for authoritarian regimes in our region, foremost among which is the suffering of our people in Bahrain for many years, and the American impudence in dominating Iraq and plundering its resources under different pretexts.

Among the biggest manifestations of aggression, greed, and US interference in our region is the continuous aggression against Iran since the victory of the Islamic Revolution lead by His Eminence Imam Khomeini, wars, sanctions, blockades, regional and international complicity with a US administration and decision.

We are facing this conflict between the right – represented by these peoples, these governments, and the resistance movements, which we summarize as the axis of resistance – and the American falsehood that wants to dominate, control, plunder, and milk the money and good of our peoples and leave them in unemployment, ignorance, illiteracy, hunger, disease, fear, and anxiety,

On the tenth of Muharram, on the day of Karbala, from a doctrinal and religious position, we can only say that we can only be on the side of truth, on the side of the fighters for the truth and the defenders of truth in our region in the face of this American falsehood.

Contrary to the false numbers that some are spreading, we will triumph in this battle the way we triumphed in Lebanon and in Palestine during the past years; the way the steadfast and patient people in Yemen are achieving victory; the way Syria triumphed; the way Iraq achieved victory over Daesh and the takfiri terrorist organizations created by the US administration; and the way Iran was steadfast and achieved victory in its war. 

In our opinion, victory is in the future of this conflict – in first place Palestine and in its wider scope, the region. It is a matter of time. One of the important indicators of the strength of this axis is that during the past years it faced a global war in more than one country, arena, and field. Yet, it emerged victorious with its head held high. This is what will happen in the near future, God willing.

Second: The second point regarding the situation in the region. It is also my duty on the tenth of Muharram to say the truth no matter how high the prices. We condemn all attempts by any country, group, figure, class, party, and regime to recognize “Israel”, and we condemn any form of normalization with this enemy.

In this context, we reiterate our condemnation of the position of UAE officials and those who chose this option. Of course, as we said earlier, they moved from secret normalization to a public one. But look and learn a lesson, the “Israelis” did not allow some Emirati officials to save face. This showed the “Israeli” enemy’s arrogance and insolence. 

Some Emirati officials, for example, said that they took this step to prevent Netanyahu from annexing large parts of the West Bank. The “Israelis” did not even wait a few hours; Netanyahu invalidated their excuse and said the annexation is still on his government’s agenda.

He could have given them at least two to three days to pass the lie to their people, to the Arab people, and to Palestine and the Palestinian people; to sell them the lie; and make it seem like they made a great political achievement and got paid for the agreement. 

Of course, any agreement of this kind has no price, no matter how great it is. This is a betrayal. Whatever the price that they got in return, how so if there was no price? He (Netanyahu) did not allow them to save face – that is if they even had a face to show. He invalidated their claims more than once. He held a quick press conference and posted tweets on Twitter.

Moreover, the Emiratis have promoted that this agreement will open the door for the UAE, for example, to obtain F-35 aircraft and high-quality American weapons and technology. Netanyahu immediately declared that this is incorrect and not part of the deal, saying “Israel” will not accept to have the UAE acquire F-35s – knowing that Netanyahu, his masters, and his slaves are well aware that the F-35s will not be used by the UAE against the “Israeli” entity. However, “Israel” does not trust the UAE, any country in the region, or any people in the region. Its real guarantee is its strategic military superiority.

This is how the occupier deals with those who crawl towards it under the pretext of peace and normalization. They even said that we moved from the concept of ‘peace in return for the land’ to ‘peace in return for nothing,’ nothing at all except for humiliation and shame.

I mentioned previously and will repeat that what the UAE did is a free service to Trump in his worst political days. It is also a free service to Netanyahu in his worst political life. Anyway, this is a condemned position and it must be condemned. We will be asked about our condemnation of this position on Judgment Day about.

I turn to the Lebanese situation. In the Lebanese situation, we will present several points. 

1- The first point is the issue of the government. We assume and hope, God willing, that tomorrow during the parliamentary consultations, the Lebanese parliamentary blocs and deputies will be able to name a candidate who enjoys the required acceptance constitutionally to be mandated to form the new government. We pin high hopes on what will happen during these hours, which will be translated, God willing, tomorrow during the consultations.

We need a government capable of improving the economic, financial, and livelihood situation, reconstruction, and the completion of reforms. Reforms are a national demand, and they are everyone’s demand. We support going in reforms as far as possible. Of course, some hypocrites and liars in Lebanon say that Hezbollah poses as an obstacle to carrying out reforms. God willing, whether in naming the prime minister or forming a government, we will be cooperative and contribute to pulling the country out of the void that we have always rejected and warned against.

2- The second point: There are international calls from some countries in the world, both regional and domestic, to heed to the demands of the Lebanese people – the Lebanese people have demands, calling for a set of reforms: we want a government that expresses the Lebanese people’s will and represents them. 

Excellent, these are valid demands without discussion, regardless of the background from which these calls are based. But these are righteous words. Our desire in Lebanon as well as in all the region and the world, our desire is always to have a government and a state that express the desires and aspirations of our people and translate them in practical and realistic terms. But we must be clear and specific since there is a main misconception here. Someone may come from outside or from the inside and lay down or assume a group of demands, then say these are the demands of the Lebanese people. They may also assume a form of representation by themselves, then say this represents the Lebanese people.

Today, since we are talking about mains topics, I call for addressing this issue, meaning we all agree that any state, any government, any parliament, any judiciary, and any institution in our political system must heed to the demands of the Lebanese people and fulfill their hopes and aspirations. 

Regarding the Lebanese people and their aspirations and demands, it is clear who the Lebanese people are – unless we want to disagree in determining who the Lebanese people are. The Lebanese people are the Lebanese men and women in Lebanon and those abroad. There are no official statistics, but generally it is close to five million more or less between resident and expatriate. 

How do we identify and know the demands of the Lebanese people? Do we adopt the method of demonstrations as some are trying to adopt now? For example, if several hundred people took to the streets, in any area – Martyrs’ Square, anywhere in Lebanon – for one day or several days, held a sit-in, and put forward demands. Will these demands become the Lebanese people’s? If several thousand people took to the street and put forward a set of demands, are these the demands of the Lebanese people? If tens of thousands of people countered the aforementioned protests and put forward different demands, will these be expressing the aspirations of the Lebanese people? If another group of the Lebanese people were provoked, and in the face of the tens of thousands, a hundred thousand or hundreds of thousands came out, would these people be expressing the demands of the Lebanese people?

Do we use demonstrations and taking to the street as a mechanism for expressing and exploring the demands of the Lebanese people? Let us agree. If we agree on this mechanism, then we will all adopt it to express the demands and aspirations of the Lebanese people. Then the government, the state, and the international community must respect this mechanism, recognize it, defend it, and not deny it.

This is an example of a mechanism. Of course, I am not suggesting. 

Should we, for example, adopt a referendum, a popular referendum like in many democratic countries? The Lebanese always talk about Switzerland and that Lebanon is the Switzerland of the East. Well, Switzerland holds a popular referendum on main issues. 

Would you like us to adopt this mechanism and hold a referendum on the demands, aspirations, and hopes? There are people who do not accept the popular referendum and directly talk to you about the numerical majority and that it would not work in Lebanon, etc.

Would you, for example, adopt a reliable, scientific, multiple, intersecting, objective, and reliable opinion poll mechanism? Are there other mechanisms? We are ready to discuss whatever means you prefer. But this matter should be addressed in Lebanon so we all 
understand each other.

In Lebanon, we must define what our people want and what must be addressed in order to cut off the road to anyone who imposes demands and aspirations and says that they are the demands of the Lebanese people. You want to adopt the parliamentary elections, well, we made parliamentary elections based on the best possible law suitable for the Lebanese situation – the law of proportional representation. Opportunities were presented to everyone, and the current parliament won. And after a short period of time and very early on, there were calls for early parliamentary elections.

Well, what exactly do you want? My question today is to the political forces, to the religious authorities, to the judicial and media elites, and to the entire Lebanese people, a question even to the Lebanese people: What are the mechanisms that you, the Lebanese people, want to adopt in order to express your aspirations and hopes so the rulers, the ministers, the representatives, and the leaders in Lebanon as well as the countries in the world and the international community know them.

This issue needs a solution. This is not solved. No one in Lebanon, without exception, no religious authority can come out and say this is what the Lebanese people want.

How did you know? Did you conduct an opinion poll and asked the Lebanese people? Did you make a referendum? No political leader can come out and say this is the will of the Lebanese people, let alone someone who represents himself – even his wife might not believe in his political choices. 

No, not even us as a party can claim that we express the will of the entire Lebanese people even though the results of the elections and the facts state that we are the largest political party in Lebanon with more supporters than any other party or as a duo with the Amal movement, or with our other allies. We only express the will of those we represent.

Be honest and objective. This issue needs to be addressed so that we can set our country on the path towards a proper and correct cure. When the government is mentioned, who said that the Lebanese people, for example, want a neutral government, a technocratic government, a political government, or a technopolitical government? There is no solution. Yes, there is one solution – if we consider that the elections express the opinion of the Lebanese people and that the parliamentary majority, for example, is call for a certain type government, then we can say that this government is what the majority of the Lebanese people is demanding.

3- The third point: We heard a call from the French president, on his recent visit to Lebanon, for a new political era in the country. In the past few days, we heard from French official sources sharp criticism of the sectarian system in Lebanon, and that this system is no longer capable of solving Lebanon’s problems and responding to its needs. I would like to say today that we are open to any calm discussion in this field, to reach a new political era, but we have a condition – this debate and this national dialogue should take place in line with the will and consent of the various Lebanese factions. Thus, if there are people who fear that a debate will take place or fear heading towards a new political era, then we must respect these concerns.

It is good, that a hundred years after the establishment of the current Lebanese entity and the state of Greater Lebanon, for the Lebanese to sit down and discuss this matter. But I have a remark on the appearance of the suggestion and its content. This reveals a problem in the Lebanese political culture and the Lebanese political mentality. 

Let us assume that a Lebanese religious authority, a political authority, one of the three leaders, a group of MPs, or a Lebanese party called for a new political era. What would have happened in the country? They would have been accused of blasphemy, not being patriotic, agents, and someone serving a certain project. The matter will then take a sectarian dimension, etc. 

I remember a few years ago – I did not talk about a new political era; a new political era means starting from the beginning – I spoke about a founding conference to develop the Taif Agreement, to develop an existing political era. We remember at the time the reactions of some parties and authorities. Then, later I spoke and retracted it. 

The point is that this matter reveals a problem in the Lebanese political culture and mentality. When this suggestion comes from outside, from any president or another country, even if we respect his ideas and endeavors, you find the whole country silent. No one is objecting. No one was accused. The matter did not take a certain dimension. Of course, if the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Syrian president called the Lebanese to a new political era, what would have happened in the country? Some countries are classified as friends, and even those who disagree with them, the latter deals with them with respect, just as we do.

This, of course, is a problem in the Lebanese political life and mentality. Thank God, there is someone who came from somewhere in the world and the people in Lebanon did not comment negatively on what he proposed, and thus opening the door for such discussions. This debate should be opened some day.
4- The fourth point: The explosion in the port of Beirut. We emphasize the firm judicial follow-up, and we talked about this at the beginning. It should not diminish or weaken with time, and officials, especially in the judiciary, must pursue this matter without political accounts and courtesies. The blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the unknown fate of the missing people, and the suffering of people should not be lost or forgotten. We emphasize on speeding up compensation for people so that they can return to their homes. We also call on the competent authorities, specifically the Lebanese army since it is the one that carried out the technical investigation and sought the help of experts from abroad, to announce the results of the technical investigation.

Here, I am not talking about the judicial investigation – who is responsible, which director, minister, head of department. This is another matter related to the judiciary. But there should be something that has been accomplished or at being concluded. If it is accomplished, we hope it will be announced. If it’s being wrapped up, we hope that it will end and be announced.

Let the debate and fabrications in the country be resolved. We ask the technical investigation to tell us whether there were in Warehouse 12, in other hangars, or in the whole port of Beirut, missiles, weapons, or ammunition. Let it say that. Announcing this matter will end the lies and will cut off slanderous tongues, which have worked on this topic for days and are still working on it despite the clarity of the issue. But there is insistence on this matter.

Also, regarding the issue of the ammonium nitrate, because when it became known that there were no missiles, ammunition, or weapons, or any such nonsense, and since it was known who brought the ammonium nitrate, they change their story – the ammonium nitrate belongs to Hezbollah, they brought them in, the ship belongs to Hezbollah, the bank is for Hezbollah. The same lies. 

Any Lebanese or anyone from the Gulf can simply pay a foreign newspaper some money to write an article with some information. Then some Lebanese with their media outlets can quote a certain newspaper in the world and say that the ammonium nitrate was so and so. We hope the authorities concerned with the investigation, the Lebanese army in particular, resolve this issue and announce the results.

Of course, there is a second matter that will follow, and we must follow up on it. We will follow up on it. I will talk about the resistance since the president, the Free Patriotic movement, and everyone else is defending themselves. Is it reasonable, for example, that a TV station creates an atmosphere during sensitive and emotional times for days on end, convincing a stratum that this devastating and thunderous blast is caused by Hezbollah, Hezbollah’s missiles, and Hezbollah’s weapons?

If it turns out that this talk is baseless, does it mean forgive and forget? Thus, anyone can create a hateful and ugly atmosphere in the country with this level of distortion, incitement, and injustice. And it ends as if nothing happened. Aren’t there government agencies that should follow up on this matter? It just so happens that the government has resigned, but there are judicial bodies that must follow up on the matter. There are concerned parties in Lebanon that must follow up on this issue. 

It is important for people to hold these lying TV stations accountable. People should hold them accountable because people are being affected – their minds, hearts, and emotions. False convictions and positions are built on these lies. In the end, this is the fate of a country.

5- The fifth point: We have the anniversary of the second liberation in the Bekaa after the first liberation in the south in May 2000. We remember the suffering of our people in the Bekaa, especially in Baalbek-Hermel in the adjacent villages that were facing attacks by takfiri groups as well as the dangers and constant threats of storming these villages. Some suicide operations and bomb attacks took place here. There were also some explosive devices that were discovered.

We also recall these takfiri groups’ blatant aggression against the Lebanese army and the security forces; they kidnapped and killed officers and soldiers of the Lebanese army and the security forces; the humiliation they practiced via the media outlets available to them. All of this existed for years. However, the decisive response from the beginning came from the people and the resistance because the Lebanese army was committed to defense. It did not attack due to the absence of the political decision that came later during the Jaroud Operation. 

The decisive response and the last decisive battle were a new victory created by the equation: the army, the people, and the resistance. We always provide credibility for this proposition through achievements on the field. The second liberation, similar to the first, is one of the achievements on the field.

Yelling, complaining, and crying would not have liberated our barrens in the Bekaa. Our towns in the villages of Baalbek-Hermel, whose inhabitants are varied, would not have been aided because we have a sectarian composition in the country. The golden equation: the army, the people, and the resistance, is the one that protected, defended, liberated, and brought about security.

On this anniversary, as I said a few nights ago, it is our duty to thank the martyrs, the families of the martyrs, the wounded, all the fighters of the Islamic Resistance, the fighters in Hezbollah, the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese army, and the officers and soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army. I also mentioned some of the forces in the Syrian militia that fought with us in the Qalamoun region on the second side of the Jaroud.
All of them made efforts, gave blood, got wounded, and made sacrifices, and some were martyred so that we can get to where we are now. There is also the diverse popular environment that has adopted this option. 

I will simply tell you that there were people in the Jaroud that opposed their political leaderships’ choices. All the people in those villages demanded that the battle against the takfiri groups be resolved. The people did not see the militants as rebels or a reform movement. They saw them as a group of takfiri terrorist and killers.

Today, we must issue a warning again since there is a daily attempt to re-produce Daesh in Iraq. There are security operations in Syria. There is an attempt to re-produce Daesh in the east of the Euphrates, most probably in the Jazira region that leads to the al-Sokhna and Palmyra. The Syrian army and its various allies in the Jazira region are fighting these groups that are being regenerated. They are, in fact, defending the security of Syria and defending Lebanon, its borders, and hills.

Unfortunately, if one day these militants were able to reach Palmyra again, surely these barrens and these sites would be one of the places they would want to seize.

In fact, we must be aware. On the second liberation day, we must value all those who are fighting today in the Jazira region in defense of Syria, Lebanon, and the whole region.

6- The sixth point: We will follow up on all the options and proposals that we previously talked about to address the economic, financial, and life situations in Lebanon with the new government, which we hope will be formed quickly. And there are steps that have been taken regarding the agricultural-industrial jihad and popular efforts to confront any attempt to starve that we announced. There are steps that will be followed up on. We must continue this work – set programs and cooperate at the national level, government and people, because this is a great challenge facing the Lebanese people.

7- The seventh point: We have the anniversary of the kidnapping of His Eminence the leader Imam Musa Al-Sadr and his two companions and dear brothers, His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Yaqoub and Mr. Abbas Badruddin, may God return them to their families and to their homeland safely.

This is a comprehensive national anniversary of what Imam Sayyed Musa al-Sadr represented not only at the Shiite level, but also at the national and Islamic levels. This cause belongs to all of us. 

Imam al-Sadr is the imam of the resistance. He drew for all of us a clear path and approach to the conflict with the Zionist enemy and the manner in dealing with national issues and issues of the region.

On the anniversary of his kidnapping, we affirm that we all in Hezbollah and in the Amal movement belong to this great imam, his mind, his soul, his thought, his path, and his approach. On the anniversary of his forced absence, we emphasize two things: 

The first thing is the depth of the relationship between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement – the cooperation, coordination, and integration between them. This is in our opinion and contrary to the desires of many in the country. 

Contrary to the desires of many in the country, this relationship, in our opinion, is what always achieves the most important and greatest interest of Lebanon, which is protecting Lebanon through the equation of the army, the people, and the resistance. It also serves many national interests.

Some unfortunate, sad, and painful events that take place between young people here and there, in this town or that place – thank God, some of these events take place within long intervals, not in succession – are condemned and rejected. The youth must face them consciously. 

But certainly, due to the trust and the strong and mutual relationship between the leaders of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah, we can overcome even these unfortunate events and overcome them consciously, responsibly, and firmly. We have to cut off the road to all those who hope and are betting on a strife between the brothers.

The second thing is that we in Hezbollah have always been and will always be supportive of the leadership of the Amal Movement, the Supreme Islamic Shia Council, the family of Imam Sayyed Musa al-Sadr and the families of His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Yaqoub and Mr. Abbas Badruddin, i.e. supportive of all families, in all the steps that they have taken or might take in following up on their case. 

We are by their side and support them because they are the ones who are bearing the responsibility and took on this responsibility. And this is a very natural thing. We are by their side. We put ourselves at their disposal in all that can be asked of us in this regard.

8- The eighth point: Here I will speak clearly. I left it for the last for the “Israelis” and for the people to have a clear understanding of our position and the situation on the southern border with occupied Palestine. Several weeks ago, “Israeli” air raids on the vicinity of Damascus airport lead to the martyrdom of a number of martyrs including our brother and mujahid martyr Kamel Mohsen. We are committed to an equation, and we have always applied this equation and are keen on applying it. Our goal is not revenge in the true sense of the word. Our goal is to punish the killers and to establish the balance of deterrence for protection. This manner has been adopted since 2006.

We only issued a statement and said that martyr brother Ali Kamel Mohsen was martyred as a result of an “Israeli” raid on Damascus airport. We only said that, and we did not say anything else.

The “Israelis” on their own stood on a foot and a half. The “Israelis” know perfectly well, and this of course is one of the resistance’s achievements. The “Israelis” deal with arrogance and aggression with entire regimes and armies, but it deals with the resistance in a different way. This did not come as a result of words and speeches. This was the result of 38 years of sacrifices, jihad, perseverance, achievements, and victories, while the “Israelis” were dealt disappointments, defeats, as well as military and security failures.

On their own – to summarize the situation – stood on foot and a half along the borders from the sea to the Golan heights, not only on the Lebanese borders, but also on the Syrian border with occupied Palestine. 

The “Israelis” carried out all the measures that you know. They evacuated military sites – if you go there now, you’ll find that they’ve been evacuated. Meanwhile, there are sites that were not evacuated, but the soldiers there are in hiding. The patrols were canceled completely. Sometimes, a patrol quickly passes and exceptionally in places if they felt that there was no movement for the resistance. The “Israelis” started sending unmanned vehicles and putting dummies dressed as “Israeli” soldiers in them like last year. It is as if they are telling us to target this vehicle. Then a helicopter and an ambulance will come and put the soldiers in stretchers. By doing so, they think they fooled us. It’s like, O Hezbollah, what do you want? You want to kill a soldier, well you have. Isn’t this what they are doing? This is what the “Israelis” are doing now.

Yesterday, you saw on television how they brought a walking robot and put a dummy on it for us to assume it was a soldier and that this is an opportunity.
These measures are still in place and have been in place for weeks. This is part of the punishment. This is an army that considers itself the most powerful army in the region as opposed to the resistance in Lebanon. Yes, I tell you that it is standing on a foot and a half on all the borders. They are anxious. The measures are not only taken along the border, but also behind it – they check who enters the settlements and who leaves; checkpoints are set up; training programs are disrupted; maneuver programs are disrupted; artillery groups and troops are deployed; the Iron Dome is on high alert awaiting the resistance. The “Israelis” know that this resistance has credibility and is serious.

When something happens along the border, “they think that every shout is against them,” as we said in the statement. If they sensed a certain movement at a certain point, they begin bombing the perimeter of their posts in the Shebaa Farms, in the Manara point, i.e. facing Meiss Ej Jabal and Aitaroun, and in the western sector area.

This reflects a state of confusion, anxiety, and panic among the “Israelis”. Why would they bomb sites? They are supposed to have information and control over the information. They are supposed to be alert or have information in any case.

Today, I want to be clear about this. Up to this point, we consider everything that has happened since the martyrdom of our brother to be a part of the retribution. We are convinced of that. But I would like to be clearer for the benefit of the people in Lebanon who follow us, as well as for the “Israelis”. If we wanted to respond just in order to raise the morale or for media consumption, we would have retaliated on the first day. Let me go into details. Simply put, there are “Israeli” posts in Shebaa Farms and even along the border. as far as we are concerned, this matter is over. At one point, we used to distinguish between the Shebaa Farms and the border. The Shebaa Farms are occupied Lebanese territory, and nobody should dispute our right to resist. But when the “Israelis” attack, there is no longer a distinction between the Shebaa Farms and the international border. We concluded this matter the last time.

Quite simply, the men of the resistance could have hit a military post with a group of rockets, hitting some fortifications and some installations. Then, we could have filmed this and sent it to all media outlets. And Allah Akbar… and this would have been our response to the martyrdom of our brother. But no “Israeli” soldier would have been killed or wounded. 

It is also possible that “Israelis” might do what they did in the Shebaa Farms incident – they put the ladder for us so we can get down from the top of the tree. They can bring helicopters and stretchers and pretend to show wounded people the wat they did at the time of the Avivim barracks incident. Then everything is over.

This was not our goal. We are not looking to win points in the media or to just raise the morale. We want to set a certain equation, and today, I will be franker about this equation than any time in the past.

Let the “Israelis” understand: When you kill one of our mujahideen, we will kill someone your soldiers. That’s it. This is the equation. It is not that you kill one of us, and we bomb a post, hills, bunkers, some iron and tin installations. They have lots of money. They can replace these objects. This is not the one that will create a balance of deterrence with “Israel”.  

The “Israelis” know – this is the first time I speak bluntly – that we are not looking for success in the media or for a photo-op. They know that we are looking for an “Israeli” soldier to kill. This is why they are hiding all their soldiers. They are hiding like mice.

This is the resistance’s point of strength. This is not a point of weakness. This is not a failure. The accuracy is that the resistance is not here to spill its anger or seeking to do a consumer work. 

The resistance is serious in accomplishing this mission. The “Israelis” are hoping for anything to happen so that things return to normal in the north of occupied Palestine and their done with it. This matter is not like this to us. During the last incident a few days ago, more than one flare bomb was thrown, and phosphorous bombs set fire to places – unfortunately, shells hit some homes and an agricultural institution called “Green Without Borders” – but praise be to God, no one was injured or martyred. There were only material damages.

We did not engage in gun battle because, honestly, this is what the “Israelis” wanted – they attacked our front and we retaliated. They burned some trees, and we did the same thing. And that’s it. 

We feel that this wastes the blood of our martyr and the equation of deterrence. What the “Israelis” did a few days ago as well as a few weeks ago when a missile mistakenly hit a house in al-Habbariya are all recorded in the account. Settling this is coming. We consider this a categorical and decisive decision. It is only a matter of time and place. We are not in a hurry or wrecking our nerves – is it going to be today or tomorrow? 

We do not consider it a weakness if the response was late because we could not find a target that would achieve the objective. In the end, how long will you stay in your burrows? How long? A week, two weeks, a month, two months, three months? Regardless of the duration, time is not a pressing matter to us. No one is pressing us with time either. 

Eventually, you will go out on the road and we will meet you. We will set this equation. All the threats by Netanyahu, Gantz, and the Chief of Staff Kochavi will not prevent us from setting the achievement that was enshrined by the blood of thousands of martyrs.

9- The last point: Just a few words regarding the coronavirus. The number in Lebanon is spiking, unfortunately. Every day, the number is going above 650 cases. The decision to close is not being implemented. Of course, there is a resigned government whose circumstances are difficult. Even if a new government is formed, I do not know to what extent we will be able to handle this matter.

On the other hand, closing is difficult. Shop owners, restaurant owners, and hoteliers are protesting. People need to go to work. Thus, there is a method which is adopted today in the world, but it requires commitment. It does not require closure, and people can go to work and making a living. 

There are two words circulating in the whole world: social distancing. Can we abide by social distancing or not? Can we commit to wearing masks or not? 

Hence, social distancing and wearing a mask. One of the knowledgeable doctors says: the mask, the mask, and the mask. In any case, the results of the vaccine have not appeared so far, and this situation may continue for months and years. So, what do we do? Today, hospitals, directors, and officials in Lebanon say that we no longer have the capacity to receive patients, and the number of deaths is increasing every day. Do we need a calamity to happen in order for people to wake up? Why isn’t there commitment? Can’t we get married without a wedding part? Yes, we can. 

Can we console each other over the phone and on social media? Yes, we can. The dearest thing to us this year was the month of Ramadan, and we were committed [to the measures]. Marking the nights of Ashura was the dearest thing to us, and we were committed. Can we commit to the measures during other occasions? In our behavior and our life? We can do that. Today, this is a very great responsibility, I repeat and say that has to do with religion, the Hereafter, and the question on the Day of Resurrection. This is a religious duty. It is not a desirable act and leaving it is undesirable. This is a religious duty that means neglecting it is a sin, for which a person will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection. This is speaking from a religious standpoint. If we want to speak from a humanitarian and moral standpoint as well as from our responsibility towards our families and others around us, we must resolve this issue. So, what can we do?

Should we, for example, beg you, plead with you, kiss your hands? O people, for your safety, for the safety of the country, and for the safety of all residents of this country. There should be a different sense of responsibility.

Since we are talking about the tenth day, I would like to conclude by talking about Hussein (PBUH). We were hurt that this year we did not have the chance to attend mourning ceremonies. From now, we must commit to the coronaviruss measures to get rid of this pandemic in Lebanon so that we can take part in mourning ceremonies next year. 

If there was still a pandemic, our performance to commit to the measures would make controlling it easier. What is the gateway by which we can use to tell people: O our family, our loved ones, and our people, please abide by social distancing, the mask, and disinfecting? 

I ask God Almighty to keep everyone in good health.

In conclusion, on Ashura, on the tenth day, we renew our commitment and pledge to our imam by continuing this path. We will keep telling him no matter how long “Labaik ya Hussein! [I am here, O Hussein!].”

No matter how great the sacrifices are, “Labaik ya Hussein!” With our blood, our tears, our remains, our cries, our patience, our grievances, our estrangement, our hopes and our pain, our cry will remain “Labaik ya Hussein!”

No Yazid in this world could cut us of from Hussein, from the truth for which Hussein was martyred, and from attending jihad arenas for the sake of the truth that Hussain called us to stand for. No one will ever be able to. We will remain Hussainis and people of Karbala and Ashura. We will carry this thought, this culture, this loyalty and sincerity, and this constant willingness to sacrifice souls, money, children, and dear ones for the sake of the truth that we believe in.

Peace be upon you, O my master and my lord, O Aba Abdullah and upon souls that gathered in your courtyard. Peace be upon you from me forever as long as I am existent and as long as there are day and night. May Allah not decide this time of my visit to you both to be the last. Peace be upon Hussein, Ali bin Al Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all. May God Almighty bless you, better your consolation, and reward you.

Sayyed Safieddine: Hezbollah Protected Lebanon from Israelis & Takfiris, Made sacrifices More than All Other Lebanese Parties

 August 25, 2020

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Head of Hezbollah Executive Council Sayyed Hashem Safieddine stressed Tuesday that the Resistance ideology relies directly on Imam Hussein’s (P) creed, adding that it is always ready to sacrifice martyrs for the sake of the path of righteousness.

The Resistance patience and sacrifice have led to the major victories, according to Sayyed Safieddine, who added that Hezbollah managed to defeat the Israeli occupation army and frustrate the US schemes in the region.

Sayyed Safieddine pointed out that Hezbollah enemies resorted to the political propaganda to distort the Resistance image, stressing that this novel war will fail just as the military battles.

“Hezbollah has protected Lebanon from the Israeli and takfiri enemies and made sacrifices for that sake more than any other party in Lebanon’s history”

Sayyed Safieddine maintained that Hezbollah has undergone the political and institutional experience in Lebanon in order to protect the Resistance, adding that it would not never compete with other parties for state portions.

Every Hezbollah fighter has the basic goal of following Imam Hussein’s (P) path and embracing martyrdom.

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Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala

Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala

August 03, 2020

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

As part of a very thoughtful email last month, the Saker wrote, “In your latest contribution you wrote ‘Every day is Ashura, Every land is Karbala’ twice.  Did you know that this is my absolute favorite Islamic saying?  I also believe that this belief is the real core of the strength of the Resistance in Lebanon, especially Hezbollah.” He was referring to the article (see here) in which I invoked the spirit of that phrase in relation to two case examples of injustice suffered by the people in North Casper, Wyoming, and the people in eastern North Carolina. These were two seemingly very unlikely candidates to be contextualized oddly in an expression that is very much known to be Shi’a Islam in essence.

The Saker also suggested mindfully that I write a short history about the phrase and explain its meaning for the readers of this blog in order to, as he put it, “make it possible for my readers to get a real insight into the Islamic ethos, especially the Shia ethos,” among other reasons. I was grateful about the suggestion and delighted to yield for several specific reasons. First, the phrase is one of the most cherished expressions for me as well and I would never tire of exploring and reflecting on it.

Second, the month of Muharram and its 10th day, the day of Ashura, are right around the corner (in a few weeks) and this essay could serve as a good introduction to this year’s Ashura as a lot of relevant and interesting events are happening all around us.

Third, this month is one full year since I began writing the monthly essays for the Saker’s blog and the article could serve as an appropriate one-year evaluation and reflection piece for me. It will also be a way to pay tribute to the Saker and his wonderful blog. What better way to show my appreciation for the opportunity he affords the global audience to take a mental path less traveled than to propose the most befitting Shi’a cue to the essence of what he actually does: With his digital pen as his weapon and his passion as its ink, he stands against global injustices and tyrant oppressors with extremely limited material resources. So, zero chance that I would not have agreed to write something on the subject!

In this essay, I hope to explore the literature and speeches of the some of the most influential contemporary thinkers and scholars who have interpreted this expression and employed it in a manner that has become a powerful Shi’a Muslim doctrine guiding an effective struggle against injustices and falsehoods in our modern era. A very brief segment about the history of Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala is presented first.

The History of the Expression and Its Role as a Doctrine

These two verses, کلّ یوم عاشورا، کلّ ارض کربلا [Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala], are among the most widely used expressions by many Shi’a Muslim sages, activists, and religious scholars in one form or another. Some scholars have traced it back to Imam Ja’afar Sadiq (Peace be upon him), the sixth Imam of Shi’a Twelvers, but no actual valid narration, or hadith, exists to corroborate that claim. A few others have attributed it to the contemporaries and students of that beloved Imam, but no solid evidence exists to support that assertion either.

According to the encyclopedia of Imam Hussain, Daneshnameh Imam Hussain, the phrase کلّ یوم عاشورا، کلّ ارض کربلا may be an adaptation of the verses from a poem by the 13th Century Egyptian poet, Muhammad bin Sa’id Busiri. In one of his long qasideh poems, he wrote, کلّ یوم و کلّ ارض لکربی فیهم کربلا و عاشورا , which is translated, “Every Day and Every Land, due to my grief and sadness for them, is Ashura and Karbala.”[1]

Regardless of its genesis, however, the expression has been referenced and interpreted by very well-known Shi’a Muslim scholars like Martyr Morteza Motahari and Ali Shariyati and it has been referenced and reflected upon by two prominent imams and leaders of the Iranian revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei. In a very significant way, Imams Khomeini and Khamenei, who are also two of the most influential Shi’a Muslim leaders of the world in the 20th and the 21st centuries, have defined and put into practice this expression as a potent doctrine and in a decidedly pivotal and successful way. We will delve deeper into this since it could be quite illuminating and would provide a better understanding of the Shi’a Muslims, the Iranian Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution, and Iran’s international politics and stance towards the world’s arrogant oppressors.

Furthermore, it sheds light on why the expression induces “panic attacks” among the most oppressive and corrupt-to-their-core entities, like the British regime, so much so that they invest significant resources on paid religious “scholars” to re-write history and offer utterly compromising interpretations of this expression.

During the early days of the Iranian revolution, Imam Khomeini explained in one of his speeches,[2]

“This expression, ‘Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala,’ is a really important expression but many misunderstand it. They think it means we should mourn and cry every day. But its true meaning is something quite different. What did Karbala do? What role did the land of Karbala play on the day of Ashura? A handful of people came to Karbala and stood up against the injustices of Yazid. They stood against a tyrant ruler and an emperor of their time. They sacrificed themselves and they got killed but they did not accept the injustice and defeated Yazid. Every place must be like this and every day must also be like this. Every day, our nation must reach this realization that today is Ashura and we must stand up against the injustice. And this very place is Karbala and we must make this place, right here, a Karbala. It is not restricted to one land. It is not restricted to one specific person. The story of Karbala is not restricted to a group of seventy some people and a land of Karbala. All lands must play this role. And all days must play the same role.” (Page 122)

In that speech, Imam Khomeini universalized the day of Ashura and the land of Karbala. He defined Ashura and Karbala in a way that a critical and decisive extrapolation from a specific time and place could be made to all times and all places. It reminded the Muslims in general and the Shi’a in particular about their ongoing responsibility and duty to stand up against falsehood and injustice, just like Imam Hussain, in all places and all the times.

A more direct reference was made on the occasion of the 17th of Shahriver event. The 17th of Shahrivar 1357 [1978] was the day when thousands peaceful and unarmed demonstrators were all allowed into then Jaleh Square [later renamed Shuhada/Martyrs Square] from every direction. Once the crowd filled the square, the major streets, alleys, and backstreets were blocked by the Shah’s military force. In a matter of just a few minutes the military rained a heavy fire on men, women, children, the young, and the old. A massive reaping and threshing of the crowd. “Rivers of blood” began flowing everywhere. It was the first time since the start of the uprising that the Pahlavi regime had opened fire on the masses. That day became known as the “Black Friday”.

In a powerful speech delivered on the occasion of the 17th of Shahrivar massacre in Shohada Square, Imam Khomeini made a clear and precise reference again to the Ashura and Karbala expression. In his speech,[3] he qualified the event as follows,

“The bitter memory of 17th of Shahrivar, ’57, and the bitter memories of the days of great hardship that were witnessed by the nation bore in them the sweet fruit of the toppling the palaces of tyranny and arrogance and replacing them with the flag of the republic of Islamic Justice. Is it not so that the instructive mandate of “Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala” should serve as a paragon for the Islamic Ummah? A rising up of the masses in every day and in every land. Ashura was the rising up of the seekers of justice, few in number but fortified with their strong belief and love against tyrannical palace dwellers and arrogant predators. And the life lesson is that paragon must serve as a plan for life every day and in every place. The days that passed us by were the repeats of Ashura. And the squares, the streets, back streets, and the alleys in which the blood of the children of Islam were spilled, they were the repeats of Karbala. And in this paragon there is both a duty and a good news. It is a duty because the oppressed, even if few in number, have a responsibility, they have a duty to rise up, like the Master of Martyrs [Imam Hussain], against the arrogant powers who may have all sorts of equipment, armaments, and great Satanic power. They are charged with that duty. It is a good news since our martyrs are put in the same rank and file as the martyrs of Karbala. A good news that martyrdom is the key to victory. The 17th of Shahrivar is the repeat of Ashura. Shuhad Square is the repeat of Karbala. And our martyrs are reiterations of the martyrs of Karbala. Our enemies are reiterations of Yazid and his cronies. Karbala smashed the palace of injustice with blood and our Karbala destroyed the palace of Satanic rule. Now, it is time for us who are the inheritors of these bloods and those who have been left behind by these young martyrs not to become lethargic. We must strive to bring into fruition their sacrifice with our unwavering wills and hard fists. It is time for us to bury underneath the feet of the martyrs of goodness the remnants of that tyrant regime and the conspirators of injustice who are beholden to the East and to the West.” (Pages 445-446)

This speech was the most clear and definite way Imam Khomeini directly linked the events of the Iranian Revolution to the events of Ashura and Karbala. Another fine and noteworthy point that was raised in Imam Khomeini’s speech was this point: “the oppressed, even if they may be few in numbers, have a responsibility to rise up against the arrogant powers who may have all sorts of equipment, armaments, and great Satanic power.

The importance of this key point is appreciated only when people examine how a country like Iran which has neither the most “powerful military in the world” to be reassured, nor is she “the most powerful economy” in the world to buy her way in and out of trouble, nor the most populous nation in the world to have many lives to spare sees it necessary to defend the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Yemenis, the Iraqis, the Venezuelans, and all others in any way that she can.

It also explains how Iran mustered the willpower to take over the United States’ Spy Den masquerading as an embassy in Tehran (1979) and arrest and hold 52 spy agents for 444 days. It clarifies how Iran managed to fight an 8-year war alone (with the exception of Syrian help) with almost empty hands and under all sorts of sanctions with a regime (Saddam’s) that that the backing of all powerful governments of the world at that time (1980-1988). It lays bare the SS Bridgeton explosion (1987), the defeat of Israel and world powers in the 33-Day war by Hizbullah forces (2006), the capture of UK officers in Persian Gulf (2006), the capture of RQ-170 (2011), Syrian resistance (2011-present), Yemeni resistance (2015-present), the capture of US Sailors by Iran in 2016, RQ-4 Global Hawk capture (2019), ballistic missile attack on Ayn al-Asad (Lion’s Eye) Air Base (2020), sending oil tankers to Venezuela (2020), just to name a few examples.

The successor to Imam Khomeini, the current leader of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khamenei, too, has interpreted the expression with the same worldview. His most comprehensive explanation and the philosophy related to the phrase could be found in one of his books titled, Four Discourses: Clarification of the Circumstances, the Causes, and the Consequences of the Event of Ashura[4] Here, however, I will bring a short segment of one of his speeches in which he has a very concise and pointed reading:

“That they say, Every day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala, it means the time passes by but the happenings in life as they pertain to humanity, the truths of the creation remain untouched. If in every era, humanity who has a role to play, if they play that role at the right time, exactly when they should play that role, then everything will be reformed. The nations will grow and achieve excellence. The humanity will grow.”[5]

When there is injustice, the role every human being must play to remove the injustice is now, not later. Not when it is convenient but when it is necessary and needed. Not just in places where it is politically correct and materially advantageous to do so but in all places that is right to do so. Not just when and where it costs us nothing but when and where it costs us all worldly things.

Another great Muslim Shi’a scholar, Martyr Morteza Motahhari, who was killed in 1358 [May 1979] by agents of a terrorist organization right after the victory of the revolution, expands on the phrase in this way,

“If we say the prophets are victorious, it does not mean a military victory. If we look at the battle between Hussain Ibn Ali (peace be upon him) with the army of Yazid and Ibn Ziyad from a military perspective, that means on the surface of things and how they appear, then Imam Hussain was defeated and they won. But if we look at the heart of the subject which relates to thoughts and beliefs, that is, Yazid’s establishment represented a movement that wished to destroy the true essence of the Islamic thought and Imam Hussain fought to revive that thought. In this case, we must examine if Imam Hussain reached his goal or not. Was he able to revive a given mindset in the world or not? We see that he could. It is one thousand three hundred years that this movement has gained a new victory every year. That is, every year Ashura is Ashura. And the meaning of Every Day is Ashura becomes this fact that every day, in the name of Imam Hussain, there is a fight against injustice and falsehood, and every day, truth and justice are revived. This is victory. What victory would be greater than this? Yazids and Ibn Ziads disappear but Hussains and Abbasses and Zaynabs remain. Of course, they remain as an idea not as a person. They remain as a guardian and the ruler of their society. Yes, those who are there die. But these who are here remain alive and eternal.”[6]

Martyr Motahhari appraises the expression in terms of its endurance over a millennium and several centuries not just as a worldview but as a lifestyle of choice. Another well-known Muslim Shi’a thinker and sociologist, Ali Shariati defines the phrase in a manner that links it to the school of Intizar, or the expectation of the coming of Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) at the end of time in a simple but psycho-socially nuanced way:

“What does Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala mean? It is not that wherever we find, we recite the Ashura prayers! It is to expect. The philosophy of expecting means a philosophy that a justice-seeking intellectual thinker, no matter what the circumstances, is not afflicted with philosophical and historical hopelessness and despair. There are no peoples or groups like Shi’a and no school of thought like the Shi’a school of thought that would fight for thirteen, fourteen centuries; all their leaders are slaughtered; they are poisoned; they are put in jail; they are killed; all their movements are all crushed. But they never succumb to despair! Why and what factor has kept these believers still convinced, still believing, and still hopeful despite protracted periods of setbacks, hardships, and adversities,?! The belief in the inevitability of history based on the philosophy of expectation!

What does a human being with expectation mean? Look at it this way. If you are at home and expecting a guest, if it is an army unit expecting an inspector or a call for readiness or a call for war or the arrival of a commander, if it is a city expecting the arrival of a person of importance, if it is someone who is expecting the coming of guest or a friend, any sort of expectation that you examine, to expect means to be prepared and to be ready. It does not mean to be dormant and sluggish! To expect means to be ready, equipped, and responsible. Therefore, the philosophy of expectation is to believe in the inevitability of history and be reassured, in all circumstances, that standing up for justice and in retaliation for spilt innocent bloods must take place all the time. It is a battle that since the beginning of history has been moved from one hand to the other, from one Prophet of God to the other, from one Shi’a Imam to the other. This battle, generation after generation, is propounded and put before every single individual. And despite all desperate condition, this flag is decidedly victorious in the future.”[7]

Shariati points to a historical and unbreakable link among all Prophets of God, Imams, and true believers throughout all times and all places to the coming of Mahdi (peace be upon him). It is useful to open a parenthesis here and make an important note: this very idea that Shia Muslim Twelvers must always evaluate their time and place on a daily basis and see where they stand in terms of their opposition to injustices and at the same time take the necessary measures to rectify and reform in preparation for the coming of Imam Mahdi (peace by upon him) defines their Waiting and Expectation. This approach stands in stark contrast with notions of passive waiting for a savior or helping create chaos and mayhem to engineer an end of time, an approach that inevitably helps and enables corrupt oppressors of every time and every place. Close parenthesis.

In closing of this essay, I would like to include a video of Maddahi, or religious recital, about Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) by Maysam Moti’ei (here) in which he has woven together several key concepts (discussed in the article) in one neat lyrical package. Since the song does not have any English subtitles, I did a translation of the lyrics (below). والسلام.

The master and the leader is Hussain,

The sereneness in hearts is Husssain.

The whisper of his lovers and devotees,

Nothing but Ya Hussain, Ya Hussain.

Besides you, I have no thought or notion,

My kin, my belonging, my life and devotion.

To the somber recital of the killing field,

Like the pouring rain we weep.

Grieving and mourning you these nights,

Alongside the martyrs we weep.

Our tears the elegy of the Euphrates,

Our Imam “Qati’ul Abarat” killed for tears.

By our Molaa, the leader, we remain,

From Ashura is the zeal that we gain.

O Lovers! Bimsillah!

The path to Al-Quds is from Karbala!

In the battlefields, I shall never abandon Ali,

My Molaa, my Leader, Sayyed Ali.

Every Day is Ashura,

Every Land is Karbala.

O the heir to Hussain’s blood!

Mahdi, the son of Zahra, arrive!

The defender of the oppressed,

The proof from God, hasten and arrive!


[1] Muhammadi Rayshahri M., Daneshnameh Imam Hussain (Aleyhi-Salaam) According to Quran, Hadith, and History. Vol. 6, Page 89. Digital Copy, Available online at: http://lib.eshia.ir/27254/6/89

[2] Ruhullah Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Noor, Vol. 10, Pages 122. Available online at: https://farsi.rouhollah.ir/library/sahifeh-imam-khomeini/vol/10/page/122

[3] Ruhullah Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Noor, Vol. 9, Pages 445-446. Available online at:


[4] Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Four Discourses: Clarification of the Circumstances, the Causes, and the Consequences of the Event of Ashura. Digital Copy, Institute for Cultural Research in the Islamic Revolution, the Office of Preservation and Publication of Ayatullah Ali Khamenei’s Works, Enghlab Islami Publication, Tehran, Iran. Book ID#: 978-964-2951-55-0.

[5] Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech during the joint educational ceremony of the students in Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) University on Farvardin 26, 1388 (2009). Available online at: https://www.leader.ir/fa/speech/5172

[6] Martyr Morteza Mottahari, “The Battle of Truth and Falsehood.” Cultural and Scientific Foundation of Martyred Teacher Morteza Mottahari, Pages 40-41. Available online at: https://3danet.ir/morteza-motahhari-books-pdf/

[7] Ali Shariati, The Philosophy of History in Islam, Section 4. Available online at: http://www.shariati.com/farsi/tarikhdarislam/tarikhdarislam4.html

Comrades in Battle: Soleimani’s Journey of Resistance Narrated by a Hezbollah Commander

Fatima Deeb Hamzeh

The night was coming to an end when the curtains were brought down on his last journeys of jihad in Syria. The final scene was at Imam Hussein’s Iraq, the way Hajj Qassem wanted it to be and always asked for in his prayers. It was loud. It happened on the battlefield of jihad alongside his comrades in arm and peace, the people he loved. And for the story in his prayers to be completed, the villain was the most wretched of villains. Cowardice was the credibility of their claim. They were not able to get him except by assassination.

Hajj Sadiq tells us: He was the clearest example of leadership in Islam.

He spent twenty years and more working for the Palestinian cause. He knew the mission and the goal when he was appointed the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in 1998. Everyone who knew him well acknowledges that he was a man who was tireless and uncompromising in his pursuit. He, too, was one of those who believed in the certainty of achieving the goals set on the path of the divine promise.

He had many traits. Others surrender to his attractive but simple characteristics. The region’s recent events and developments were the gateway to this “jihadi by nature”.

From Palestine, to Lebanon, to Syria and Iraq and farther away, the martyred lieutenant general went on a jihad streak helping the oppressed against the oppressor and the weak against the arrogant.

But how was he present, how did he fight, lead battles, negotiate, raise morale and bring together the alliances and the axis? How was he killed? And what comes after him?

To answer all these questions, Al-Ahed news website conducted an exclusive interview with Hajj Sadiq, a field commander in the Islamic Resistance who accompanied martyr Qassem Soleimani on his jihadi rounds.

Hajj Sadiq begins talking about Soleimani, “In the name of Allah, He who Smites the Necks of the Cruel (qasim al-jabarin). It is impossible to summarize this leader’s career or his jihad.”

Calmly and with great accuracy, Hajj Sadiq reveals to us some of Hajj Qassem’s qualities.

“Work wise, he was the clearest and most recent example of the concept of leadership in Islam. Because I know him and have accompanied him, I believe that theories of leadership, management as well as military and field control need to be reviewed looking back at this person’s role, impact and behavior.”

The Islamic Resistance field commander adds, “Through his positions and words, he – Hajj Qassem – expressed the concept of the Imamate in Islam whereby the minds are attracted to him without will or effort.”

What jihad legacy did he leave behind?

“It is enough that he was practically the one who created what is now called the axis of resistance. He was at the forefront of establishing it after it was just a mere idea spoken about behind the scenes,” Hajj Sadiq replies quickly. “Martyr Soleimani was able to translate this idea into practice, accurately and with unimaginable craftsmanship.”

He adds, “In his jihadist thought, he wanted to go beyond the idea of the axis. And those who know the literature of the Islamic Revolution, know who Soleimani was, what he gave, and what he left behind.”

Hajj Sadiq, one of the people who knew martyr Soleimani, repeats that talking about him is not for the sake of writing about Soleimani’s personality after his martyrdom. Rather, to reveal possible aspects of “this leader, whose services for the Islamic causes were not confined to a place or time. On the contrary, his military, administrative and diplomatic vision, activities and movements tightly linked the organizations and countries of the [resistance] axis together.”

Hajj Sadiq does not hide Soleimani’s great, influential and pivotal role in confronting the Zionist and American projects in our region.

“Soleimani was a supporter of the resistance in Lebanon. He was present alongside the resistance during the July 2006 war. He was also in Iraq from the start of Daesh’s invasion until the announcement of their end as a danger to the state and the people. He was also in Syria. He was not only a military leader but also a clever diplomat and administrator.”

How Soleimani saw us and how we saw him

Hajj Sadiq talks more about the military commander who was close to the arenas of jihadi and mujahideen, saying “He was keen on the subject of advice. It was one of his well-known practices, and it was not a formal behavior. Rather, it was realistic and practical. He practiced it with conviction as well as action. He was always on the fields and at the forefront. He always sought to involve field leaders in decision-making. He always reminded us that our weapon, which is directed at our most powerful enemy, is our morale.”

Hajj Sadiq stresses, “Hajj Qassem’s physical presence cannot be compensated. However, the model of a moral jihadist and leadership school that he established will make up for his absence. This will be reflected in the price his murderers will pay as they will be expelled from the whole region.”

The martyred commander’s companion tries to convey to us the image of the relationship that Soleimani was most keen to weave with the mujahideen.

“He was concerned with the mujahideen’s most accurate daily and combat details, including their sleeping accommodations, their sustenance, their psychological and spiritual conditions, their communication with their families and everything that could make them feel secure and belong to this holy jihadist line. He was even concerned with the conditions of ordinary citizens who support the organizations that were fighting us and made sure not to harm them.”

“Killing him this way, during this time, with his companions, is a juncture in the struggle with our enemy. Soleimani succeeded in breaking the prestige and power of the American giant in the region. He paved the way for us to get rid of it. He showed us the shortest way to expel it humiliated. He was, without a doubt, the largest nail in the coffin of the Americans in our region. And the coming days will bear witness to this,” Hajj Sadiq concludes his talk about martyred leader Soleimani. “I am happy for him for attaining this great martyrdom and this end. We, who remained after him, will continue his path and work to achieve his goals and carry his banner in all arenas. Taking just retribution on the killers of the mujahideen will be the responsibility of all the resistance fighters.”

Also read it in Arabic

Historic Recurrence: Soleimani Immortalized

Jihad Sermon 27

By Nour Rida

A favorite theory of mine [is] that no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often.” Mark twain

The concept of historic recurrence has been applied to the overall of history of the world. Repetitive patterns in history provides what some theorists call the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence. People, who see things with a worldly or materialistic perspective, simply get on with their lives and hope these appalling trends and conditions will go away. This school of thought believes that history is a human construct.

Conversely, the Graeco-Roman and the biblical tradition contributed to the history of this idea. This historic recurrence concept also exits in Shia belief, with one additional dimension that positivists do not believe in: Metaphysics. To understand Shia thought, one cannot but take the spiritual facet into consideration. In Shia thought, one needs to recognize the direction of world affairs and their connection to Quranic history.

Islam and the Qur’an believe that the process of inner and outer changes should proceed side by side so that man may reconstruct his inner faculties that is his spirit, his thinking, his will and his inclinations. This inner infrastructure should be in complete harmony with the outer superstructure.

Man cannot accept truth and act uprightly so long as a desire for a change for the better does not have a firm hold on his heart and he does not rebuild himself from within. Society cannot be shaped in a befitting manner unless man’s heart is replete with human values representing truth. Otherwise any talk of truth will be hollow and meaningless. One of the most important marks of a person’s faith or commitment to religious or ethical values is his readiness to defend that belief with life itself if necessary.

In Shia tradition, Hussein, the Grandson of Islam’s Prophet Mohamad is a martyr par excellence, who was killed to raise the issue of resisting injustice.  Martyr, according to Britannica encyclopedia, is one who voluntarily suffers death rather than deny his religion by words or deeds; such action is afforded special, institutionalized recognition in most major religions of the world. The term may also refer to anyone who sacrifices his life or something of great value for the sake of principle.

History recurrence and Ashura

How does this relate to recurrence in history? Hussein is an ideal for the oppressed vs. oppressors, justice vs. injustice, and to defend human values and piety. Ashura marks the martyrdom of Hussein and 72 of his companions in 680 AD in what is known today as the city of Karbala, Iraq. They refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler of that time, Yazid. The Battle of Karbala between a small group of supporters and relatives of Hussein and a larger military detachment from the forces of the Umayyad caliph represents the war as one between good and evil. Hussein’s martyrdom is considered by the Shia community as a symbol of humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny and oppression. Ashura has, according to Shia though, religious, spiritual, political, cultural, military and epistemological dimensions. This Ashura historical event formed a paradigm shift in Shia tradition and is one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It does not matter if you are Shia or not, as long as you are oppressed you will be provided support in face of tyranny.

The moral fabric of society began to decay as Yazid ruled with his own interests in mind. Hussein was highly respected within society, and his endorsement would carry great weight. Yazid needed a man like Hussain to follow his rule in order to provide legitimacy to his corrupt government. But Hussain was a man of morals and strived for social justice. Hussain could not sit and endorse Yazid and spoke out against him, despite it being a risk to his life.

Hussein was martyred to preserve Islam and its teachings, and to defend justice and human values. His legacy is invoked as a source of strength when people face insurmountable challenges. The epic of Karbala is ultimately a legacy of resistance against wrong, with a central hero whose sacrifice immortalized him.

Immortalizing Soleimani

On Friday, 3rd of January 2020, US President Trump declared himself standing behind the assassination of head of the Quds Forces, General Qassem Soleimani. In 2015, Candidate Trump confused the Quds Force, an elite Iranian military unit then led by high-profile Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, with the Kurds, a high-profile ethnic group in the Middle East. Well anyways, it is not the first time he does not seem to know his stuff. Gen. Soleimani had played a major role in defending Iran against its enemies and assisting regional countries fight foreign occupation and terrorism. He gradually became known as an adept commander during the US-backed Saddam Hussein 8-year war against Iran. He gradually became a forefront figure as he assisted regional states and helped fight US-backed terrorist groups a.k.a Daesh. In the recent years, the IRGC commander emerged as a key strategist and ingenious commander leading Iranian military advisers assisting Syrian and Iraqi troops in battles against terrorists.

Thinking he might run away from impeachment or get a full strike on preparing for a stronger presidential campaign, Trump ordered the assassination. Soleimani was killed and Trump turned him more alive than ever; he immortalized him. Iranians poured into the streets like never before; only once seen in the history of Iran when founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini passed away. Iranians see Trump as a ‘terrorist in a suit’.

During the Karbala epic, Yazid was the embodiment of evil, as is Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Daesh, American Imperialism, ‘Israeli’ apartheid, African apartheid and the like; the analogy can be drawn here.

Paradigm shift: beginning of US withdrawal

The US rejects to see any form of independence, sovereignty or autonomy in the Middle East, not to mention that it’s all about the oil and economy.  In their book Going to Tehran, the Leveretts, former US National Security Council staffers, argue that the Islamic Republic is a powerful, rational actor in the Middle East. In their book, and based on their visits to Iran and first-hand experience, they note that it enjoys political legitimacy internally and is faithful to its constitution and accountable to its people. It is also the main impediment to the United States’ hegemonic dominance in the region. Since the 1979 paradigm shift of the Islamic Revolution, and Iran choosing to be independent and different, US governments have been putting immense pressure on the country; it has broken the norm of accepting colonialism and imperialism and chose to stand up for its values. Since then, the US consecutive governments and through a mainstream narrative has been launching soft and hard wars against Iran.

Trump killed Soleimani, the paradigm shift and a new beginning started. In retaliation for the assassination operation, Iran fired dozens of rockets hitting the two-trillion worth American military base in Iraq of Ain al-Assad. Iran broke the norms, and broke the US army invincibility just like Lebanon’s resistance broke the ‘Israeli’ army’s invincibility in 2000 when it forced the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces to withdraw from Lebanon. Today, Iran vows that the final revenge for the Soleimani will be only one thing: A US total withdrawal from the region.

Just like the martyrdom of Hussein preserved human values and Islam, the martyrdom of Soleimani and all those who believe in resisting oppression, hegemony, tyranny and imperialism will be fruitful. 

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Recent Developments Regarding Lebanon Protests, October 25th, 2019

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Recent Developments Regarding Lebanon Protests, October 25th, 2019

Translated by Staff – Hezbollah Media Relations

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech on recent developments in Lebanon on 25-10-2019.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers. 

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Today, our homeland is going through a sensitive and critical situation, requiring us to speak responsibly and calmly.

This speech is not addressing any particular occasion or gathering. So there is no need to raise my voice. It also helps to speak calmly and accurately.

I will start with a very brief reminder about the position Hezbollah articulated last Saturday. Then I will offer an assessment about the positives of what has happened so far.

I will not stop at the negatives. I will talk about solutions as well as diagnose the nature of what is going on and point to some dangers. I will conclude with a clear position that I want to direct at the people and specifically and particularly at the supporters of the resistance.

On Saturday, a few days after the launch of the popular movement – I will call it the popular movement – I said that this is a popular movement that we respect. It is spontaneous, sincere, transcends sects and regions and expresses the people’s pain, woes and concerns. It is not subjugated to any party and embassy.

I can say that I respect the movement and the people who took to the streets more than any other person. I told them that we respect you, appreciate you, and more than that we understand you and applaud what you have done and the excellent results you achieved.

I also explained that Hezbollah cannot participate in this movement because if Hezbollah participates, its color will be clearly visible in all arenas and the movement will take another course. It will have a political dimension and will be linked to regional issues, regional conflicts and the likes.

It is in the interest of the movement to stay away from us and the parties. I also said that you can take to the street because you do not belong to any particular side, and are a variety of popular bodies. You can stay for a day, two, three, a week. Whether you fulfilled all your objectives or some of them, you can leave whenever you please. But if Hezbollah took to the streets, it cannot leave before achieving its goals.

Let me start with this clarification because throughout the rest of my speech I will be very careful with what I say due to some demons.

From the first day, some tried to say that Sayyed and the party threatened the demonstrators. Gulf and other foreign media outlets and some domestic ones exploited the allegations. There are some people who did not even hear the speech. I believe my text was clear. We cannot go down with you because if we do, if the day comes that we have to take to the streets to call for the same demands and goals, we will protest against the authorities and not the demonstrators.

In any case, I also wished that the demonstrators who share the brotherly position would avoid insults and cursing, vandalizing public and private property, and clashing with the army and security forces in order for your movement to succeed. We also asked the army and the security forces to tolerate the people. The most important point was that I wished you not allow political parties and factions to ride the wave of the movement and take it to another place that contradicts your goals, your pain, your aches and your real aspirations. This all happened on Saturday, of course, with other additions that do not need to be repeated.

From here I would like to move down the talking points:

The first point:

The positive achievements. Let us be fair. In the end, whatever happens in the country, must be employed for the benefit of the whole country and the entire Lebanese nation.

What happened in the past few days in general brought about great achievements, especially at the beginning of the movement. Unfortunately, these positive achievements were not explained to the people or even to the demonstrators, not even by those who claim to be leading the demonstrators.

I will try to quickly shed some light on some of these positives in order to use them as a foundation. These positive achievements must be used as a foundation and should not be forsaken. They must be preserved because they were created by the people as they protested night and day. These people disrupted their work and daily lives. They bore the sun and rain. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to preserve the positive achievements that the popular movement recorded thus far, which serve everyone’s interests.

1-    The movement managed to force the Lebanese government to agree on a budget free of taxes and fees and a deficit of zero point something. This is the first time in decades that Lebanon has a budget without taxes and fees. For the most part, there is nothing like this as far as I know.

There has been a budget deficit for many years. I will not hide this from you, but discussions that used to take place within the government regarding budgets that included taxes and fees were extensive.

Today the movement forced the government to release a budget without taxes and fees. This is not a small achievement. This is very important and very sizable.

Political factions joining the budget debate have always dreamed of reaching such an outcome.

This, of course, has repercussions for all people. The taxes and the value added tax – even on some amenities or on fuel, which was raised – would have affected every home and every family in Lebanon.

2-    Due to the pressure of the popular movement, the reforms paper that the prime minister announced a few days ago was released.  This reform paper is very important and unprecedented. It includes highly important demands. It is true that it falls short of expectations, hopes and ambitions. But it is the first advanced step.

Unfortunately, those who label themselves as being concerned with leading the movement, some media outlets and even some who present themselves as objective analysts and I respect them, absurdly ridiculed this paper. I cannot recall that this number of decisions and directions with timetables have been reached in one session and under the leadership of any Lebanese government, at any time.

Why would it be ridiculed? This is an achievement for the movement, and you are ridiculing it! There are some who consider themselves to be spokespersons for the popular movement or who lead the popular movement. These people are ridiculing the achievements of the popular movement. This by the way makes us suspicious.

No one in the whole world ridicules their achievements, not a popular revolution, not protesters and not even a resistance movement. On the contrary, they try to highlight their achievements to boost people’s morale so that they would remain on their path and give rise to a clear horizon and hope. But ridiculing the achievements in this way is not right.

This reform paper, I would like to tell the people, is not mere promises. Matters that relate to the government itself include decisions with timetables set for their implementation. Matters that  need to be approved by parliament are considered bills that are to be sent to the parliament also in accordance with certain timetables.

One of the most important subjects that was raised was the law of the stolen asset recovery, which is a priority and which they are working on day and night.

Recovery of stolen assets: A set of decisions have been taken. A set of bills have been prepared and will be sent to the parliament.

I would like to tell you as Hezbollah and in cooperation with all the serious people, who will later express their positions – today I do not want to speak on behalf of anyone, never, I want to speak only on behalf of Hezbollah – this reform paper is for implementation. It is not ink on paper and will not be ink on paper. We and the rest of the serious people will not allow procrastination in the implementation of these decisions. This must be decisive. This has nothing to do with you staying on the streets or leaving. This is our responsibility, and later I will talk about an important positive achievement recorded by the movement.

Some of the results are: The movement forced government officials to start implementing what they promised and to engage in intensive sessions. Until now, they are discussing the draft law to recover stolen assets, the draft law on tax noncompliance and tax evasion, and the completion of bills related to the fight against corruption. And there is something that I will talk about shortly. All the parties in the government are determined to undertake a great effort to meet and implement its decisions within the specified deadlines.

3-    One of the positive achievements recorded includes the raising of awareness among officials in the government. What does it mean to raise awareness?  There is an atmosphere in the country where authorities, current officials and future officials who may come to power believe that they can do whatever they want, decide to do what they want with funds and taxes, continue with wasting of funds, corruption, failure and shortcomings and no one will hold them accountable. By the way, the last election was free and fair, and the whole world witnessed that it was free and fair. The electoral law was the best one ever applied. Yet these elections brought back the same factions, the same authorities and same officials. I am not judging them. I am only describing the reality.

There was a perception among officials that they can do what they want. However, the movement raised their awareness. And now the Lebanese people, for a moment in a movement that transcended sects and regions raised their voices in everyone’s face. This is a very important achievement. It will have great effects on the performance of officials in the next stage. And I am already seeing this clearly.

The second achievement has to do with the people. People are becoming confident again. The sectarian, regional and political divisions that plague the country led people to believe that there was no chance to launch a popular movement that transcends sects and regions. This latest experience restored the self-confidence of the Lebanese people and made them believe that the way they took to the streets today, they can do so again after a month, two months or after a year. This experience can be used as a foundation. And as I have said, it brought back hope and people’s confidence in themselves.

The next point: The movement also gave people an opportunity to speak freely. Put the insults aside, which are the negative aspects of this movement. Of course, some of the insults came out spontaneously, and others were directed. I have information and data on circulars issued by some forces asking the people to curse and insult so and so. However, there are people who were spontaneous. Apart from this negative aspect, the movement gave the people the chance to speak about their pains and aches in their own way using their own expressions, language and terminologies. This is what we should consider in the future when we want to sit down and decide on the goals of the movement that should be fulfilled. We should see the ordinary people, the poor, college students, the unemployed, who want to work, etc. We should gather everything these people said and say these are the goals of the movement. These goals are essentially socioeconomic demands. They stem from the people’s pains and poverty. They are talking about health, job opportunities, the environment and equality. They are talking about all these issues that we are hearing about directly across all regions and that are being expressed in different ways. There must be sincerity in order to achieve these goals. The positive achievement is that people from across all regions, have expressed these goals without fear and without barriers.
Among the other positive achievements but not the last is that the movement created an excellent climate in the country that opens the door for political factions that are serious about combating corruption and waste, working for reform, addressing economic and living conditions. This climate will make these factions, whether they are in the government today or might be in the government later, even more serious, bolder, more capable and ready to undertake more initiatives. Among those serious parties is Hezbollah.

Certainly, we took into consideration a range of complexities and difficulties when we acted in previous stages. This is not a secret to anyone. This climate will open the door for everyone who is serious and sincere. Now, everyone says that they want to fight corruption. They want to stop waste, and they want to serve the people. Well, go on. This climate will open this door. In addition to the reform paper, I would like to take this and use it as a foundation.

The reform or economic paper is a first step on the path that should be followed. There are proposals for laws in the parliament. My information says that the parliament will activate itself to approve these laws. Along with other political factions, we will push to speed up the endorsement of the stolen asset recovery law, anti-corruption laws, lifting of bank secrecy laws as well as constitutional and legal immunities for all civil servants so the judiciary would face no obstacles or complications to hold them accountable. We will also exert pressure to release the hand of the judiciary. This judiciary has to be fair and just. It should not act on reprisals and being selective. It should open all files related to corruption. Let the people hold accountable every politician, religious cleric, religious or political authority involved in cover ups. We are capable of heading towards this stage. There should also be more discussions, cooperation and dialogue to move the economy forward. There are prospects for some of the things I mentioned that could take place in the country as a result of some developments in the region. There is something in the reform paper that was endorsed that will definitely boost the economic situation.

I would like to conclude this part on a positive note. Yesterday, His Excellency the President opened the door to the popular movement. He called on them to engage in dialogue. I noticed direct distortion of his speech by some media outlets. The president did not say ‘I did not hear your demands and I want to hear your demands.’ The President said I want to hear your demands and concerns, and you hear our demands and concerns. Let us discuss. The media edited his words as usual. Today, His Excellency the President opened the door for dialogue and negotiations. I will get back to this point later. He opened the door for discussing a number of points. He did not limit the points that he wanted to discuss or negotiate on. No, on the contrary. Today, he is the head of the authorities, the custodian of the constitution and the first official in the country. If people cannot talk to him and negotiate with him, what do they do? What are they heading towards? We will also get back to this in a bit.

The second point: When we talk about the current situation, all of us should be looking for solutions. I want to be clear. To the people, political forces and everyone concerned, I offer advice and speak from a position of responsibility: any solution must be based on the principle of not falling into a vacuum, both within state institutions and government. Why? Because it is very dangerous. The vacuum that some people are calling for is dangerous. I will come back to this in a bit.

In light of the current difficult economic situation and financial crisis, a vacuum will lead to chaos. I am not concerned about the people with millions of dollars and hundreds of millions of dollars who are taking part in the movement. Those people do not know the meaning of hunger and pain. They do not know what it means not to be able to check your son into a hospital. They do not understand all these pains and aches that the people are talking about.

In light of the difficult financial and economic situation, the existing political tensions in the country and the region and in light of what might appear to be targeting from a regional and international level, a vacuum will lead to chaos. A vacuum will lead to collapse. After a while, if the country carries on like this, will it be able to pay pensions? A time might come when even the army, which is now being used as a security guard and a basis for preserving the unity of the country and civil peace, will not be able to get their salaries. A time might come when they won’t have money to eat. This is what will happen if we carry on like this and become consumed by a vacuum, chaos and tensions. The country is beginning to lose control. This means that the country may sink into chaos and insecurity. God forbid that there might be someone preparing for a civil war similar to what they did in a number of countries and neighboring states. So, I want to be careful and clear. We are open to any discussions, discussions with the President but not on the basis of any form of vacuum. A vacuum will be fatal.

On Saturday, I announced our position regarding your demand to overthrow the government and the Promise [the Lebanese President], early parliamentary elections which means the overthrow of the parliament. Some people also called for the resignation of ministers and deputies. They called on everyone to resign. This means heading towards a vacuum. So, our answer was that we do not accept the overthrow of the Promise, and we do not support the resignation of the government. Due to these circumstances, we do not accept early parliamentary elections because this is a complicated issue. Simply put, if one wants to be honest and transparent and cunning in politics, he would tell you that we agree on early political elections. You in the movement elect your representatives, come up with an electoral law and present it to us. We will transparently agree on it. Would you be able to agree on an electoral law? This is our country, and we know each other. Some want Lebanon as one constituency. Do you all want that? Some want the proportional representation system and others the majority system. Some want a sectarian electoral law. And others don’t. Others want the Orthodox law. We do not want to laugh at each other, and we do not want to waste time. When I said this, of course some people came out and accused us of protecting the authorities. There are failures and those who are corrupt. No, we are protecting the country from a vacuum, which will lead to chaos and collapse. We are looking to the distant future. Our religion, morality and our responsibility orders us to protect our people. We protect them through the resistance. That is where we pay taxes; blood, martyrs, children, dear brothers, men, women and children in massacres, money being lost, homes destroyed over our heads. All to free our land, all of Lebanon and not just the land of our supporters and people.

Also, in politics related to internal affairs. We are responsible for protecting the country. Now, we are paying taxes when we are being insulted and accused of defending failures and the corrupt. We are being accused of being against rightful demands. We are definitely not like that because these are also our demands. We are prepared to pay this tax. It is easier to pay this tax than the tax of blood. There are people who are ready to give their blood and dignity. We are ready to give our blood and dignity to protect our country and people. Hence, the main point is that any solution should not head towards a vacuum. Someone might say and it has been said before – some people I still consider as respected writers who present themselves as objective – said that Hezbollah should not say ‘we want to avoid a vacuum when they disrupted the country for two years and a half until President Michel Aoun was elected’. This is a wrong and unjust comparison. We did not take the country into a vacuum.

During the two and a half years, there was a government that was working and acting as the president. There was an existing parliament. All the roads were open. Factories, universities, schools and hospitals were working. Nobody was being humiliated on the roads. The farmers, construction work, commercial and passenger traffic were all working. Nothing was disrupted. The only thing missing was in Baabda Palace. There should have been a president there. He should have regained the powers given to him by the constitution. This did not exist. But his powers were at the government’s disposal. It is incorrect to say that we imposed a vacuum on the country for two and a half years. Yes, we disrupted the presidential elections. That is true. But this is completely different. This comparison is absolutely inaccurate.

I will continue and say, yesterday the President opened the door to the protesters. He asked them to select a leadership or delegates to represent them in case they did not have a leadership, or it was unclear. If you cannot choose one leadership, do what every protest in the world does. Every square chooses its leadership. There are platforms, squares and movements in various areas. Choose your representatives and agree on the demands that are consistent with the demands of the people and not with the whims of the political factions. Then go to the President and discus and negotiate with him. This does not mean that you leave the squares. No, never! Stay in the squares and negotiate using pressure from the people and the demonstration. There is no problem in this regard. This is if we continue to speak about the positive achievements. No one is suggesting negotiations so that people withdraw from the protests. No, people can go to their home or protest every day. There is no problem in this regard.

Up to this point we are still talking about the positive achievements recorded by the movement. This is the horizon. And this is our assessment and solution to what is happening. In this way, they can go to the negotiating table and state their position regarding the government, the economic situation, the protesters’ demands and whatever they want. Protesters should not allow anyone to politicize the movement.

The next point is cutting off roads. Let us also keep the country moving in a positive direction. I am not debating the principle. We recognize that blocking roads is a means of civil protest. Civil disobedience movements and protests usually resort to this means. In the past we blocked off roads. Yes, we blocked off roads to achieve demands. Maybe in the future, we cut off roads to fulfill righteous demands. I am not discussing the principle but the timing. After 9 days of blocking roads and now we are nearing the end of the month – the financial, economic and living situation – you heard the pain of the people. Today, people are saying that ‘the day I don’t work, I don’t have money to feed my children.’ You have prevented people from going to work for nine days. Not the protesters, regardless of their great numbers. You are locking the rest of the people who are not in the squares in their homes in all areas. You are denying them from food and work during this difficult living situation. It is impacting the overall economic situation, and there is something more serious than this.

What is happening today on some roads are roadblocks being set up. So far, they are unarmed. There are young people who are ready to beat, insult, curse and humiliate people. What is taking place on the roads is that people who want to pass with their cars are being insulted, cursed and humiliated. You can watch these on television. I am not accusing anyone. What is even more dangerous is asking people for their identification cards. What does this remind the Lebanese of? If the young people and the new generation do not remember, let them ask their parents what it means to start asking people for identification cards at roadblocks and checkpoints! Some streets turned into checkpoints where people are blackmailed. If a sick person wants to go to the hospital, I’ll open the road for you if you pay $50 or 100,000 L.L. A traveler wants to get to the airport, give me $100 and I will drive you there with my car. What do you call this? Civil disobedience? A protest movement? Honestly, I don’t want to hold anyone responsible. I am just saying. Go and conduct an opinion poll as you say you respect the popular base. If 50% of the popular will in Lebanon wants – I will not say 60% or 70% – to leave the roads closed, then leave them closed. But today the people want to open roads. I appeal to the protesters. Please, these people are your people. And this is your country. You are defending the poor, and you are the poor. Your demands are righteous. You have pains and aches, and you understand the pains and aches of others.

Take the initiative and open the roads. No one is suggesting that you leave the squares and arenas. On the contrary, double your numbers in the squares and arenas. Double the crowds and demonstrations. There is no problem. Even on the highway. Take part of the highway and leave the other part for the people to pass. Now who is responsible? Regarding this issue, I will not hold anyone responsible today. But I want to politely, lovingly and in a brotherly manner appeal to the people, the demonstrators and those who are blocking the roads to open the roads to the people so they can go about with their work, schools and universities and reach the hospitals. In any case, in the afternoon and at night, when they return from their work, schools and universities and go to demonstrate and protest and negotiate. There is no problem in this matter.

It is my duty to highlight another important point. Some people are create a certain atmosphere in the country by suggesting that someone in power or some political factions are pushing the army to clash with the demonstrators and to open fire at them. This is a lie. It is misleading and provocations. It is absolutely not true. The army is not required to disperse demonstrators and protesters in the squares. It is only required to protect them only. There was an army commander, as I recall in 2005, when the events in Lebanon took place in Martyrs’ Square. The protesters’ demands were not social. It was rather a huge political project. We all remember. He sent me and others, telling that there is someone asking him to disperse the protesters using force even if that led to shooting at them. You in Hezbollah, what do you think? We told him we absolutely reject that. Regardless of our assessment of this demonstration and this political project that was demonstrating in Martyrs’ Square, we rejected it. We know what it means to open fire at protesters because we came under fire in September 1993. Some of us were martyred and wounded. We were also shot at in Hay el-Sellom neighborhood. Unfortunately, under the same army commander who I spoke about, he shot at the youth and the people in al-Mshrafiya. They were calling for social demands. I am not demanding that their hand be firm in other places. The Lebanese army and the security forces must not fire at anyone.

This is a baseless accusation. Yes, it is the responsibility of the state if there is an attack on public property, blocking roads, attacks on people, roadblocks asking for identification. The state knows its responsibilities. I do not want to show them their responsibilities or hold them responsible. They know their responsibilities.

The next topic. We will talk about to the objectivity of the current movement. On Saturday, I said that this movement could be used as a basis. I would like to modify that. What started out as a popular, spontaneous, non-partisan movement made up of hardworking poor people and that was not exploited by embassies, is to a great percentage not like that anymore. I am not saying 100%. Today this movement with its daily activities, slogans and positions is no longer a popular and spontaneous movement. Let the young people who are going to the squares and arenas and taking part in the protests. I do not want to ask anything from them. As for the supporters of the resistance, I will talk to them in the end.

Today the movement is led by certain well-known parties, and I do not want to name them. The movement is being led by well-known political forces, different and well-known groups and figures. There are also certain people and institutions leading it. I will talk about this point in details in a bit. There is management, coordination and funding. No one should pretend that there is no funding. If you wanted to celebrate for three hours, you will need money. This is obvious. We have demonstrated, taken to the streets and protested in the squares. We know that in order to stay in the squares and arenas, you need to provide food, drink, medicine, media coverage, sound systems and phones. All this needs money. Do you agree that this is coming from the poor people? Of course not. There are certain parties that are funding. Who are they? I am not accusing anyone. But I hope from those who consider themselves to be leaders in the protest movement, let them explain to us just as they are requesting transparency. Huge sums of money are being spent in some squares. There are some poor squares. But there are other squares where we have lavish spending and very excellent opportunities.

So, go tell the people clearly that we have a funder X from country X or from embassy X or this rich person X or this institution X to see whether these people and embassies of countries who are spending money care for the interests of the Lebanese people. These wealthy people who are spending the money, this money which they have is it from corruption and suspicious deals or is it clean money? This poses a question at least, and I do not want to go into details today. But when it comes to funding, of course we have a big question. So, where is this money coming from? We as Hezbollah, when we organize any activity, I frankly say where the money comes from. I’m not shy, and I do not hide it. And some people condemn. This is not a problem. Tell us where this money came from. The demands that are being referred today are no longer the demands of the good-hearted people, the people who took to the streets spontaneously. Now we are hearing about toppling the regime. What does it mean toppling the regime in Lebanon? In Lebanon, do we have a regime like we have in other countries of the world? Anyway, toppling the regime, toppling the Confessional system is great. If this popular movement wants to topple the confessional system and end political sectarianism, we will be the first to stand with you.

Please come, sit down and put together peaceful, constitutional mechanisms to achieve this goal. But the people didn’t take to the streets for this purpose or to remove the government. Do people indeed what power vacuum?

If you asked people on the streets, do you want power vacuum? They would say no. We want to eat. We want to live. We want medicine. We want job opportunities. We want a clean environment. We don’t want anyone to humiliate us. We want a fair and just judiciary. We want security, stability and social justice. These are the demands. Then we have one of the main parties in the movement which is preparing a document and promoting it. The document is a request to the UN Security Council to place Lebanon under Chapter VII. Is this the demands of the protesters and the people protesting in the squares and arenas?

So, they took the demands to another place, reaching up to using some of the squares to describe the resistance as terrorists and to also take aim at the resistance’s weapons. Regardless of whether these demands are rightful or not, these are not the demands which were expressed by the people. All TV stations have archives. Let them go back to the archives of the spontaneous people and take a look at what their demands were. Did they put together a mechanism to achieve their demands? Did anyone discuss with them? Or were there people inciting them and pushing them into a kind of impulsive and collective emotional state.

Today, we have a movement where we have political factions and political parties and gatherings which are taking advantage of a popular wave to achieve goals. These goals differ from one group to another. I wanted to say this in order to refer to the next point. Now, a question to the protesters who have been on the street for nine days, don’t you want to achieve your goals? Yes. Is staying on the streets alone without doing anything else achieve the goals? Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it does, but it takes time. We protested in the Martyrs’ Square and Riad al-Solh before. At that time maybe people thought we were weak because we didn’t block roads. It is fine. We stayed for one week, two weeks, one year. In the end, we didn’t go to talks. Others closed their ears. They continued on the same path without caring about the country, and nothing happened. Today protesting by itself is not enough. It needs something else. This something else includes two parts. The first, are those in power ready to negotiate? Yes, they are. The second is you have to go and negotiate. Hasn’t the time come for this movement to appoint a leadership? Where is this leadership? Now, the people would use popular terms and say we are all the leaders in the movement. It’s OK you can say it when you are excited at the beginning. But when it comes to solutions, this is a mistake. The protesters, in anyway, in order to achieve their goals must decide who represents them so they would negotiate with those in power the goals they want to achieve.

Why don’t you appoint leaders? Is there a real leadership for the movement? I say to you yes. It is not visible. It is unclear and not announced. Why don’t they announce themselves? There are many different reasons why. I don’t want to talk about the reasons in order not to waste your time. They should say why. However, I know who the leadership of the protest movement is. There is not one leadership. There are parties, different gatherings and different figures. And we have people, individuals. Now, they assume themselves to be the leaders of the protests and the people to be the protesters. If I want to designate them because it is the duty of the protesters to know who they are following. When they are told to go down to protest, when they all told to block roads, when they are told to respond to the economic reforms paper or when they are told to respond to the initiative of His Excellency the President, are the people only responding by themselves or is there someone directing them from a political and administrative position and by the media? Of course, it is the second. It is not analysis. It is our information.

Now, for those groups who consider themselves to be leading the protesters – I’m going to be fair, the protesters have to know who is leading their movement. The people are the ones who make the effort, get tired, stand on the streets under the sun and in the rain. There is a group of people, which I know personally. They are nationalist people, clean, loyal and sincere. And they truly share the concerns of the people. Now, there is a lot of discussion regarding the percentage of this group and the impact it has on the movement. What this group claims and what is actually the case are debatable. There is another group which is made up of different well-known political parties. Some of them were in power and then stepped down. And some of them have been in power for decades. They have a history, their own projects, speeches, a past, external and internal links, etc.

There is a group that is represented by different gatherings and new political entities which have been formed recently. They participated in the parliamentary elections. They spent large sums of money in the recent parliamentary elections. Even though the proportional representation law was used, it secured a modest number of seats in Parliament. There is another group which includes individuals who are certainly linked to foreign embassies and foreign intelligence agencies. And here, the most important thing I want to say to you is that there are individuals and certain parties who consider themselves to be funding the movement and managing it. They are corrupt and actually some of the most corrupt individuals. Some who present themselves as people who want to fight corruption accuse me and Hezbollah of being corrupt. And they are the most corrupt people. Their files are in the judiciary. Some who are in the current political power who I am accused of defending are lawyers in the Lebanese judiciary. I don’t want to name them. They are now present among the leaders of the popular movement. There are people who have a political vendetta. Others are looking to settle political scores.
There are some who are looking for a popular position as a prelude to future elections. I have all the names of these groups, but there is not much time to name them. I just liked to raise this question not because I want to raise doubts. No, I want to tell the people that when you go to the squares with your pains and aches, you should see who you are entrusting your tears, pains, cries and everything you have accomplished and worked hard for. The demonstrators are the first concerned side to know who these people are or if these people are going to exploit the movement for personal or partisan goals. What are the guarantees that these people will not take the movement to serve foreign political projects? What are the guarantees? So far, I am not accusing anyone. I am asking for guarantees because there are fears and doubts.

I would like to address the protesters. When you accept the leaders of the movement, some of which do not have the audacity to announce his person, when you say that you want to fight corruption, failure and dereliction and accuse people of failing and corruption, do you want to replace a failure with another failure, a corrupt with another corrupt? There is no such thing in the world. Popular revolutions and popular protest movements have always presented clear leadership and alternatives. Then, the people check the alternative. If they find that it is fair, clean, patriotic and sincere, not associated with embassies, competent and able to provide better management and can help people to address their issues, has lived the people’s lives and an emperor who lives the emperor life, then the people would decide that this is our alternative. We are ready to protest all the way because our alternative is ready. We are not going to a vacuum, and we do not want to replace those we consider corrupt with who are absolutely corrupt. This is my question. This is a brotherly talk with you, with the demonstrators, with the people in the squares. And after that, say what you want. There is no problem.

I take great responsibility no matter what its burden and requirements are. I am ready for it. I also invite and suggest to those who consider themselves to be leaders in the movement to take the initiative now and to go to the Lebanese judiciary and see if they have files there or not. They should declare their readiness to go to the Lebanese judiciary if anyone accuses them of corruption and not to run away. There are rumors. Why are blocking roads? Because the officials want to escape. Why are you cutting off the airport road? Because they want to escape from the airport road. Do you want to insult people’s intelligence in this manner and with these absurdities? Reveal your true faces. If you are a party, say that you are a party. This is our president. These are our ministers and our deputies. Whoever is accusing us of corruption should come forward. And I’m ready to send them to the judiciary. Reveal. You are asking the ministers and the deputies to lift bank secrecy laws. Then lift the bank secrecy laws on yourselves. You are introducing yourselves as an alternative and that you don’t want to take the country into a vacuum, tell the people how much money you have. And if you have money and God has blessed you, tell the people where you got that money from. This is how we offer a decent alternative to which people pin their hopes on and their aspirations are fulfilled.

Then, we say yes there is a movement and there is a worthy, qualified and efficient leadership that can carry out reforms, fight corruption, end waste, imprison the corrupt, change the face of the country and take the economy out of the calamities it is in. If there is an alternative that is neither sectarian nor biased to a region and wants to work with a national mind and spirit, we are all ready to pledge allegiance to it. Present us with this alternative.

The next point is the point before the last. This is the last point followed by the conclusion. I really left this point to the end because from there I would like to address the resistance’s supporters, the environment I belong to and all the friends and allies of the resistance. This is the most sensitive point. I am the first person to say this is a spontaneous movement and is not subject to embassies or parties. The first day, the second and the third day. Many sides contacted me and asked. They were worried, and I told them there is nothing to worry about because this is a popular and spontaneous movement with rightful demands and good people. Yes, there was one concern which is someone might take advantage of this popular movement, including embassies, countries, regional situation, political parties and people who want to settle scores. These are possible. But so far there is nothing worrying. And I absolutely rejected the conspiracy theory. Not everything that happens in the country is a conspiracy. I had a couple of meetings. And the next day what I read in the newspapers had nothing to do with all the meetings. This means that all the meetings I had in the past week were hours-long discussions about the budget and the taxes, how we will bring resources, how we will lessen spending, the solutions, how we will activate the economic situation and the seriousness of the financial and economic situations. The second day, I read in the press that I was discussing the presidential elections and that President Michel Aoun’s health is frail. What is this nonsense and absurdity? It baseless.

In any case, I reject conspiracy theories. But in recent days, the information and data collection group – I repeat and say it is not an analysis – our information from more than one place say that the situation in Lebanon now is being targeted politically, internationally, and regionally by employing domestic parties. It is no longer a popular movement, popular protests about health, the environment, job opportunities, hunger, corruption. No, our information, data, indicators and evidence say otherwise. I do not want assert that this is the result. But isn’t this possibility enough? Doesn’t it put us in a state of doubt?!

I call on the Lebanese people since they are watching local channels to watch the western, Arabic and Gulf channels. Take a look at the articles, social networking sites, the electronic armies, the language and the incitement. Does it look spontaneous to you? Does it look like these are people? This was the case at the beginning, right, with my respect to everyone in the country. Now, it is no longer the case.

I want to warn. This happened in other countries. God willing, this is not being planned for in Lebanon. At the very least, I would like to tell the people to be aware that it might be a possibility. I think it’s more than a possibility. I think now it’s a lot more than a possibility. Don’t believe what the embassies say. Today the American ambassador and the embassies say no, we don’t want the overthrow of the government or for it to resign. What they say is not important. What they do is what is important. It is not important what they promise. What is important is what the CIA and the intelligence agencies are doing.

Look at what the “Israelis” and the “Israeli” media are doing.  What are the “Israeli” pinning their hopes on. What does it mean when the “Israelis” bring some Lebanese people who are in the Zionist entity close to the border to show their solidarity with the protest movement? We the people of the resistance have the right to be sensitive towards this. So, no. I would sincerely like to express at least a fear. And anyone who would say that this fear does not exist, let them reassure us. I don’t fear for the resistance. I fear for the country. We are afraid for the country that someone might want to stir social tension, security tension and political tension and drag the country into a civil war. How many countries in the region are now in civil war? How many countries in the region? Regardless of the details of what is happening in Iraq, what is happening in Iraq today?

Look at the other countries. Do you want the same thing to happen in Lebanon? I am not trying to terrorize or scare anyone. The strongest party in Lebanon is the resistance. I am not threatening anyone. Anyone who wants to be afraid of the finger, let them be afraid. I am not threatening anyone. The strongest player in Lebanon is the resistance. We are not afraid for the resistance. We are afraid for the country. Today, there is a fear that someone is trying to target the country the country, how? The country meaning the state, the army, the people and the resistance. This is Lebanon’s immunity. This is the strength of Lebanon that is disturbing “Israel”. It is beginning to consider the resistance an existential threat. The resistance terrorized and humiliated “Israel”. This is the equation.

So, if they drove the country into chaos and civil war, there would be no state. The army would hence collapse like what happened. This means, the people would fight with one other. The resistance would be dragged also into it. Who benefits from this? I am not to trying to scare you. Write it down. Write down the time, hour and date. God willing, nothing of this will happen. God willing this is not being planned for, but I would like to assure you there is information, there are doubts here. There are suspicions. Some people in Lebanon in their own closed-door meetings were disappointed with everything. And they were pinning their hopes on one thing which is to have an American war with Iran, changing the face of the region and toppling the axis of resistance.

Closed-door meetings, they pinned high hopes on them. and these hopes are gone now. There is there is no American war on Iran. There is no war between the US and the axis [of resistance]. The Americans are packing up. You saw what they did in the east of the Euphrates and in the Gulf. You are listening to Trump’s speeches.
If this option no longer exists, let’s go to a something else. I want to warn against this. I would say yes. At the very least, the leadership of the protest movement has to reassure the Lebanese.

And frankly speaking, it is called upon to reassure the resistance that the country isn’t also a target because the resistance isn’t a goal in itself. The resistance protects the country and the people, the people’s dignity, happiness, lives, blood and honor.

I reach to the conclusion. I would like to address the supporters of the resistance. I am addressing the people of the resistance and even the people in general. I would like to refer to something which is of cultural and social nature. This is good by the way. It something good when the people take Imam al-Husain as an example for a revolution against the corrupt and the oppressors and supporting the oppressed. This is excellent. There are some people from different religious sects who told us that you are not in the camp of al-Husain in this protest movement. The camp of al-Husain in the different squares. Al-Husain’s camp today is there, and you are outside his camp. And they used this language and logic with us. For people to wonder and ask, there was no problem. But to talk in such a harsh way to people, this is unjust. Why? Because al-Husain, Ashura and Karbala were first of all rightful demands. Secondly, they were rightful slogans. Third, it was to support the oppressed. Fourth, which is also 1 and 2, is a clear, open, sincere, loyal and just leadership. It was a leadership that was ready to sacrifice itself, its children, sisters, families and money for the sake of the oppressed. That is Karbala. Karbala and Ashura mean the secured alternative, the trusted alternative. It is the alternative that you can entrust people’s lives, blood, money, dignities, families and future with.

Al-Husain presented himself as an alternative. Al-Husain wasn’t only the leader of a revolution, he presented himself as an alternative to the tyrannical, oppressive and unjust leadership. And when he went to Iraq, which pledged allegiance to him, he went there to be an Imam, a ruler and a government. When you talk about al-Husain and want to compare any movement with al-Husain, you have to talk about a rightful cause, rightful slogans, a clean, honest, just and loyal leadership which makes sacrifices and is also a qualified and trusted alternative. Bring me such a movement and today I’ll tell you at 5:07, me and all of Hezbollah will be soldiers in this movement and its leaders. We are ready to sacrifice our blood, our souls, our fortunes and our dearest people for the sake of achieving goals of this movement when we have al-Husain there. But if he doesn’t exist, put al-Husain aside. Let us talk about the developments, situations, threats, opportunities and the current challenges in our country.

After saying all this because before I said that if you want to protest, protest. If you don’t want to, don’t. That’s your business. On the first day, the 2nd day, we did not request from anyone to protest. And we did not prevent anyone from protesting. We did not prevent anyone. The people went down by themselves. Now, some people say Hezbollah is against the people. Others say that Hezbollah is behind this movement. I’m honest with you. We didn’t prevent anyone, nor did we tell anyone to go down. People went down at their own free will. Yes, on Saturday we requested from those who are members of Hezbollah not to go down because when I told the protest movement not to allow the political parties to take advantage and that Hezbollah’s open and clear participation with you would have an impact on the goals and demands of the movement – I have to be honest – so I told the members of Hezbollah, brothers and sisters, not to go down.

However, some of the supporters of the resistance, its friends and allies continued to be present in different areas and expressed their stances. Today, as a result of everything that has taken place – certain doors have been opened and people do not want to go through these doors as a result of the questions, the doubts and the fears and because some people considered that I have confused them. Some asked do you want us to go down or not. It reached appoint that someone on social media said: Sayyed if you don’t want to speak frankly, just sneeze once and that will mean go down. Two sneezes mean do not take to the streets. I honestly want to talk directly. I request from the supporters of the resistance to leave these squares, even the youth who recently went down to support the demands and to defend the resistance because we were not only cursed in some squares. It is not important if we were cursed. But when the resistance is accused of terrorism and the other squares remain silent and when the topic of the arms of the resistance is raised and the other squares also remain silent, some people felt it was their duty to go down and express another opinion. Of course, you have to take a look at the fairness of the media. When people accuse Hezbollah of terrorism, these outlets call them Lebanese civilians who are not affiliated with parties. They are not groups affiliated to political parties. But when young men and women defend their resistance, they are accused of being affiliated with parties that want to sabotage the popular movement. I request from these young men and women not to stay in these squares. There is no need for you to go down and defend the resistance. If we need to defend the resistance in the media, in politics, on the streets and in the squares and platforms, we can do this. We are up for it. We don’t want anyone to accuse us. Leave the squares to those who are convinced, and we respect all of the convictions and all the hopes. We respect all of their pains. And those who are convinced that this road will allow them to achieve their goals, we do not stand against them. I tell the supporters of the resistance very clearly and openly, we are not called upon, and there is no interest for us to be in these squares. Our interest lies staying away from them and to follow up. If positive achievements are made, we can build on that. But if there are, we follow up. We continue to monitor and strive to open all doors of dialog and talks because what we need is that we all focus on security, stability, peace, calm ways to address the situation and wisdom.

That is what I wanted to say today, of course, our friends and allies who we agreed with in strategic, if they could please listen to me very well. I call on them to think once again. I respect their choices. I understand their motivations. Of course, I don’t have any suspicions regarding them. Every person might have his own visions and calculations, but of the phase we have reached now and the performance we are seeing, especially if engaging into dialog with the President was rejected means that there is a big targeting of political nature in the country. I invite you to study, evaluate and make the decision you find appropriate.

I ask God Almighty to guide us to the correct diagnosis, the correct assessment and to the wise and correct position, to protect our country and our people, and to help the Lebanese people overcome this difficult stage to achieve their hopes, dreams and promising future. Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

From Karbala to al-Sham: “I Did not See Except Beauty”

October 07, 2019

From Karbala to al-Sham: “I Did not See Except Beauty”by Mansoureh Tadjik for the Saker Blog

We have many well-known and universal concepts that, over times, places, and people, have gone through expansions and contractions in meaning and connotation. One such concept is that of beauty. To return this concept to a level of transparency it requires and afford it a deeper understanding, we must first launder it clear of all that which is not. What is meant here is not that concept of “beauty” which toxifies bodies and the planet[1] by courtesy of L’Oreals, Proctor & Gambles, Estee Lauders, and Johnson & Johnsons of the world. Nor is it the concept of “beauty” that is savagely carved on vulnerable bodies of misguided souls using sharp scalpels and laser beams[2], poison injections[3], and leaky augments[4] performed by medicine wo/men who took the oath[5] to uphold the principle of non-maleficence—first, do no harm—expunged away by pharmaceutical and bio-tech giants. It could be safely assumed, as well, that it cannot be that concept of “beauty” which commits celebrities to suicide,[6,7] drugs superstars to overdose, and liquors personalities up into a semi-permanent state of inebriety at best, and death at worst.[8,9] None of the latter, sadly enough, remains an exclusive domain of Bollywoods, Hollywoods, Jollywoods, Mollywoods, and Nollywoods of the current times. Rather, they act as vectors of contagions affecting the general public.[10, 11] An insider, motivated by an unfortunate event, once described things quite candidly,

“[Demi] Moore is a product of our youth-obsessed culture which teaches women from when they are girls that we are valued by our beauty. We are taught to stay young and thin at any cost, and there is no other industry that consistently reinforces that message more than Hollywood. It is clear that we are all buying and believing this message.

The fact of the matter is the film industry, in the US and around the world, have pitted women against Mother Nature. It’s an impossible battle to win and we all know it.

Abandonment coupled with age in a town like Hollywood makes us feel sorry for Moore, but deep down we are actually terrified because we know what happened to her can happen to us. We are all equally vulnerable to our insecurities. Every one of us fears rejection and heartbreak.

We are all products of our society and that society is obsessed with staying young. Demi Moore embodies that obsession. Can there be a worse place to grow old than in Hollywood where as a woman you can literally find yourself out of work because you had the audacity to age? The sad fact is as we grow older, women around the world, but especially those working in films, are told that they are worthless. How ridiculous and wrong is that?” [12]

Just to put a couple of final nails in the coffin of misnomers, neither is it that concept of “beauty” which is actualized by moguls of soft porn masquerading as fashion, music, and sports industries; nor is it the one that motivates the profiteers to add all sorts of carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic colors and dyes to our food, beverages, toys, wall paints, packaging, and more[13] to “beautify” things.

A dizzying chain of dismissals all in a one-paragraph breath. What contemporary human enterprise, one might be curious to ask, is left then that was not held in contempt in the prologue? In truth, quite a lot but they are in stealth mode and our task is to identify and safely land just a fraction of one here. Perhaps we could intellectually indulge ourselves for a few minutes and regard the above section as a filtering or damping technique to sift the concept of beauty and isolate all sorts of non-random and purposefully engineered noises that have inundated it. This is just an exercise to expand our horizon far enough and our range of view wide enough for a different vision of beauty to emerge. It is a necessary preliminary step in order to find, to listen, and to look at the actual and truthful signals emitted from this most familiar yet well-concealed concept. It might also prove useful in achieving excellence in our souls as well as in our bodies.

«مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty[14] is perhaps one of the most well-known phrases narrated in Shi’a remembrances and sermons about the aftermath of Ashura in Karbala. The phrase is attributed to Hazrat Zainab (s.a.), Imam Hussain’s (a.s.) sister, the very lady whose Al-haram— tomb, sanctuary or holy shrine— in the southern part of Damascus, draws fighters from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, and other places from around the world to come to Syria to defend and protect it. The warriors call themselves “مدافعین الحرم”, the Defenders of Al-haram. When they are killed, they are referred to as “Martyr Defender of Al-haram.” Exploring the context for Hazrat Zainab’s statement may help facilitate seeing a lot more than just another way of looking at beauty.

Petty, inferior, and two-bit victors, when intoxicated by their own peculiar brand of triumph, often act in ways that betray the vulgarity of their minds and infirmity their souls. Some incinerate masses of unarmed and defenseless people in a span of three weeks, land on an aircraft carrier, attired in a green flight suit strategically strapped, to photovoice their “Mission” as “Accomplished.”[15] Calling it a lampoon would be embarrassing; for a lampoon, that is. Others capture, sodomize, and kill their own ex-partners, murder thousands of yet other defenseless people, loot their resources then channel their muse and deliver their own version of veni, vidi, vici interviews to crow.[16] Yazid ibn Mu‘awiya, that junior in Umayyad Dynasty, ordered Ubayd Allah Ibn Ziyad, his sycophant in Iraq to finish Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his companions off so that he could have free hand in his corruption, transgression, and oppressive rule. Ibn Ziyad did as ordered on the day of Ashura in Karbala. He then took the survivors of Imam’s household as prisoners, among them was the matriarch, Hazrat Zainab Al-Kubra (s.a.).

Yazid and Ibn Ziyad, too, did not behave any better than their colleagues, in our contemporary era, who just got dishonorable mentions. They decapitated those who had been killed and put the heads on spears. They tied ropes and chains around women, children as young as three years old, the ill, and the injured prisoners. They then paraded them in towns and cities, all before the eyes of a dis-informed and propagandized public who had been duped to believe they were witnessing a defeated group of non-believers gone rogue who had turned their backs to God, the Prophet ﷺ, and Holy Quran. Now that is what one might call an extremely effective, although transient, propaganda campaign. The prisoners were taken along a path from Karbala to Ibn Ziyad’s palace in Kufa, and onward to al-Sham (Damascus, Syria) where Yazid lived and ruled. A trail of more than a 1000-kilometer, mostly on foot, sometimes on bare-backed camels.

The concept of beauty. Surely somewhere along the way, this essay must have forgotten what it was supposed to be about. A bit of leeway, I request. The above demonstrates how small, petty, inferior people without vision act when they achieve an apparent victory. A victory that is already on its way to obsolescence. It does take a true stretch of imagination, especially for an unaware mind, to explore the concept of beauty in any of these. Most imaginations do not have that much spiritual elasticity. So, let us go back to the lady who led us this way in the first place: Zinab Al-Kubra (s.a.). She was taken as a prisoner of a battle in which she had just witnessed her brother and Imam and seventy two plus of her closest loved ones and allies including her other brothers, her sons, nephews, and cousins to get killed, their heads chopped off and raised on spears. She is witnessing more than twenty five heartbroken mourning women, small children who have just become orphans, and an unwell nephew, Imam Sajjad (a.s.), who must now carry on the leadership of Shi’a (whoever is left of it) all being dragged as prisoners from place to place and paraded in front of a propagandized public who are committing all sorts of dishonorable, disgraceful, and despicable acts against them. And, she “did not see except beauty”? Seriously?! On what grounds? Through what sort of a cognitive filtering were these events processed? What basic principles for beauty is she using? I, for one, am dying to know and will follow the clues to wherever they lead me.

The statement «مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty” was extracted from the following excerpt of an extended dialogue that took place inside Ibn Ziad’s palace in Kufa, two nights after the battle of Karbala. It was an exchange between Ibn Ziyad and Hazrat Zainab (s.a):[14]

Ibn Ziyad, “Praise God Who exposed you by killing and disgracing you that shows what you people were saying was nothing by falsehood.” [Tries to imply that if God were on your side, He would have protected you from getting killed and captured.]

Hazrat Zainab Al-Kubra (s.a.), “Praise God Who graced us with dignity through Muhammad ﷺ and purified us from all impurities and corruptions. Only the immoral are disgraced and only the corrupt falsify. And we are neither.”

Ibn Ziyad, “How did you see what God did to your household?”

Hazrat Zainab Al-Kubra (s.a.), «مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty. They were people ‘upon whom it was decreed to be killed and go to their places of death’[17] therefore ‘they surely went’[18]. Very soon, God will bring you and them face to face [in the Day of Judgment]; and they will censure you and litigate against you [before God] and you will see who prevails. May your mother mourn you, Son of Majaneh.”

Hazrat Zainab (s.a.) is given the title of the Messenger of Karbala. She delivered many powerful, frank, and compelling speeches and sermons to make sure the message of Karbala remains alive and does not get distorted. Numerous books, speeches, and articles are written and/or delivered that try to explain just this one phrase «مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty” and what she might have meant. Many of them are quite insightful and interesting but I would like to take the simple way and see what Hazrat Zainab (s.a.) may have meant in her own words. She immediately states, “They were people “upon whom it was decreed to be killed and go to their places of death’[17] therefore ‘they surely went’[18]. Very soon, God will bring you and them face to face [in the Day of Judgment]; and they will censure you and litigate against you [before God] and you will see who prevails.”

She actually references and recites parts of a verse from Quran (Chapter 3, Verse 154) to describe, or perhaps qualify what she had seen/witnessed in the killing field of Karbala. The verse, in its entirety, reads:

“Then after that affliction, He sent down upon a group among you a peaceful sleep to soothe you. Others, however, who were preoccupied more by concerns about their own lives, they were harboring thoughts about God that were unjust/untrue, similar to those of the time of Jahiliyyah, the age of ignorance. They would say, ‘Are we not supposed to control everything?’ Say, ‘Everything is controlled by God.’ Thus they harbored wrong thoughts and concealed them from you. They said, ‘If it were really up to us, none of us would have been killed here.’ Say, ‘Had you stayed in your homes, those decreed to get killed would have certainly gone to their places of death.’ God thus tests the intentions in your heart and thoroughly purifies your inner most convictions. And God fully knows innermost thoughts.”

For the sake of clarification, we will open up the verse just a bit. This verse addresses the circumstances after the battle of Uhud, in which Muslims were on their way to victory but then lost the battle. Earlier, when the unbelievers of Mecca had been defeated in the battle of Badr, they vowed to take revenge and began to prepare themselves for a major attack against Muslims in Medina. In Medina, a division was created among Muslims under the leadership of someone by the name of Abdullah Ibn Ubay, who was later revealed to be a hypocrite, in terms of the strategy for defense and the location of the battle. He taunted the idea that Muslims should bring the battle inside Medina and fight within the city’s perimeter. The majority were against this idea and fully believed the best location for the battle would be outside of the City limit at the foothills of Uhud Mountain. The decision, by a majority vote, was made for the latter strategy. Of the thousand fighters on their way to Uhuh, Abdullah Ibn Ubay was able to deceive about three hundred fighters and have them turn their back to their brothers and return to Medina.

In Uhud, prior to the start of the battle, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ assigned a group of fifty fighters, under the command of Abdullah Ibn Jubair to guard the Uhud Pass to prevent any infiltration of the enemy forces through the Pass. The group was under a strict order not to leave that position until and unless they have received words directly from the Prophet ﷺ himself to return. Toward the end of the battle, when the group saw that Muslims were winning, majority of those fifty people guarding the pass left their position and rushed to collect the spoils. Only twelve remained obedient to the order of the Prophet ﷺ but a false news was circulated that the Prophet ﷺ had been killed. This led to more fighters leaving their position and a weak defense of the pass ensued resulting in an infiltration path into the Muslims fortifications. A surprise attack by the enemies through the Uhud pass led to Muslims’ defeat in that battle. That battle was an important and critical lesson for Muslims, some of who had acted based on greed, some based on ignorance, and some based on hypocrisy.[19, 20, 21, 22] So it seems the real and true battle was a battle of belief authentication. This time, it had taken the shape of the battle of Uhud. Another time, another place, it would take another shape. The essence remains the same though.

Perhaps we might be getting a bit closer. Zainab (s.a.) may have seen this: The Most Beautiful Beloved of Hussain (a.s.) and the Creator of all beauties that ever were, are, and will ever be, decreed that Hussain (a.s.) and his loyal companions must go to the battle of Karbala. The outcome of the battle was up to God and only God. The outcome of their test, was up to them and only them. They heard their decree; they obeyed without waiver, they passed their test. Their blood sealed the deal. Perhaps this is an operationalization of the concept of beauty in its most exalted and divine form. Something that perhaps only Zainab (s.a.) could see and narrate.

Now, travelling through time and space and returning to Iran. For certain, we have had a long and perilous road before us. On one hand, ridiculously absurd amount of money and resources are being spent to bombard us by all sorts of books, films, games, shows, media messages, disinformation, advertisements, and more that have one single goal: to convince our young, old, man, and woman, to turn their back to concepts of beauty that bring with them salvation, serenity, and positive authentication by God. Instead, they should embrace concepts of beauty that bring with them sadness, insecurity, disease, pain, immorality, injury, toxicity, and misery. On September 12, 2002, B. Netanyahu addressed the United States’ House Representatives. Here is a fragment[23] of his speech,

“Yes. Now the question you have is this: This is now a question of not of values. Obviously, we would like to see a regime change, at least I would like to, in Iran, just as I would like to see in Iraq. The question now is a practical question. What is the best place to proceed? It is not a question of whether Iraq’s regime should be taken out, but when should it be taken out. It is not a question of whether you would like to see a regime change in Iran, but how to achieve it.

Iran has something that Iraq does not have. Iran has, for example, 250,000 satellite dishes. It has Internet use. I once said to the heads of the CIA when I was Prime Minister that if you want to advance regime change in Iran, you do not have to go through the CIA cloak-and-dagger stuff. What you want to do is take very large, very strong transponders and just beam Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 into Teheran and Iran.

That is subversive stuff. The young kids watch it, the young people. They want to have the same nice clothes and houses and swimming pools and so on. That is something that is available, and internal forces of dissention that are available in Iran–which is paradoxically probably the most open society in that part of the world. It is a lot more open than Iraq, which is probably the most closed society, and therefore you have no ability to foment this kind of dynamic inside Iraq.

So the question now is choose. You can beam Melrose Place, but it may take a long time. On the other hand, if you take out Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region. And I think that people sitting right next door in Iran, young people and many others will say the time of such regimes of such despots is gone. There is a new age.”

That speech was delivered seventeen years ago. The resources could have been used more wisely. But wisdom, too, is one of those intangible beauties. For decades, sponsoring of a chain of inauthentic publications that lack quality substance, grace, intellectual honesty [24, 25, 26] has been the hallmark of the western push to impose on us their conceptual understanding of beauty. On the other hand, we are not empty-handed defenseless bunch. We have our Zainab (s.a.), Zahra (s.a.), Khadijeh (s.a.), Ma’asoumeh (s.a.), and more. Once again, let’s see whose version of beauty outlasts all others. We hear our decree; we obey without waiver. Insha’allah, God will help us pass the authentication process. السلام علیکم.

Mansoureh Tajik lives in Alborz Province in Iran. She has a background in teaching and research in the areas of community and environmental health, environmental justice, and media literacy. She collaborates with various local community members, groups, and organizations to provide support in addressing health and environmental problems, sustainable agriculture, and in design, implementation, and evaluation of relevant improvement projects.


[1] Lisa Gue (2010). “What’s inside that counts: A Survey of Toxic Ingredients in our Cosmetics”; Research sponsored by David Suzuki Foundation in Canada. ISBN 978-1-897375-33-4. The report can be downloaded free of charge at www.davidsuzuki.org/publications

[2] American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2018). “2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report.” ASPS National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Procedural Statistics. Available online at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2018/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2018.pdf

[3] S. Samizadeh and K. De Boulle (2018). “Botulinum neurotoxin formulations: overcoming the confusion.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Vol. 2018:11, Pgs. 273-287,

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S156851

[4] Woo Yeol Baek, Dae Hyun Lew, and Dong Won Lee (2014). “A Retrospective Analysis of Ruptured Breast Implants.” Archives of Plastic Surgery, 41(6): 734–739. DOI:10.5999/aps.2014.41.6.734

[5] Erich H. Loewy (2007). “Oaths for Physicians – Necessary Protection or Elaborate Hoax?” Medscape General Medicine, 9(1): 7; PMCID: PMC1925028

[6] Mary V. Seeman (2019). “Celebrity Suicide.” Psychiatric Times. Available online at: https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/portraits/celebrity-suicide

[7] Steven Stack (1987). “Celebrities and Suicide: A Taxonomy and Analysis, 1948-1983.” American Sociological Review; DOI: 10.2307/2095359

[8] Johannes M. Just et al (2016). “Drug-related celebrity deaths: A cross-sectional study.” Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy; 11: 40. doi: 10.1186/s13011-016-0084-z

[9] S. Robert Lathan (2009). “Celebrities and Substance Abuse.” Proceedings of Baylor University Medical Center, 22(4): 339–341. PMCID: PMC2760168

[10] Myung, Woojae, Hong-Hee Won, Maurizio Fava, David Mischoulon, Albert Yeung, Dongsoo Lee, Doh Kwan Kim, and Hong Jin Jeon (2015). “Celebrity Suicides and Their Differential Influence on Suicides in the General Population: A National Population-Based Study in Korea.” Psychiatry Investigation 12 (2): 204-211.doi:10.4306/pi.2015.12.2.204. http://dx.doi.org/10.4306/pi.2015.12.2.204.

[11] King‐wa Fu and Paul S F Yip (2007). “Long‐term impact of celebrity suicide on suicidal ideation: results from a population‐based study.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; 61(6): 540–546. doi: 10.1136/jech.2005.045005

[12] Anushay Hossain (2012). “No Country for Old Women: Demi Moore And Our Fear of Aging,” Women @ Forbes, World with a View Contributor Group. Available Online at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/worldviews/2012/02/08/no-country-for-old-women-demi-moore-our-fear-of-ageing/#287f41064516

[13] House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (2019). “Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life,” HC 1805, Published on 16 July 2019 by authority of the House of Commons. Available online at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/1805/1805.pdf

[14] Ibn Nama Helli (1950). “Mathir Al-Ahzan,” Page 90, Trans. from Original in Arabic. Digital Copy Published by Center for Computerized Research in Islamic Studies in Isfahan. Available Online at: http://www.ghbook.ir/index.php?option=com_dbook&task=viewbook&book_id=2600&Itemid=167&lang=fa

[15] CNN (2003). “Commander in Chief lands on USS Lincoln,” CNN International, Inside Politics. Available Online at: http://edition.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/05/01/bush.carrier.landing/

[16] Glynnis MacNicol (2011). “Hillary Clinton On Qaddafi: We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Business Insider, Oct 21, 2011. Available Online at: https://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-qaddafi-we-came-we-saw-he-died-2011-10

[17] Holy Quran, Chapter 3, Verse 154 Words 57-60.

[18] Holy Quran, Chapter 3, Verse 154, Words 56.

[19] Abulfazl Bahrampour. Nasim Hayat: Al-tafsir Quran Karim, 14th Edition, Vol. 4, Page 49-51. Hijrat Publishing Institute, 1390.

[20] Muhammad Javad Muqniwh, Al-tafsir Al-Kashif, Vol. 2, Page 148. Dar-al-Kitab Al-Islami Publishing, 1424.

[21] Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai, Tafsir Al-mizan, Vol. 4, page 11. Available online at: http://elmvadin1395.ir/fa/page.php?rid=45

[22] A.A.F. Hasan Tabarsi, Majma’ol Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran, Vol. 2, Page 497. Available online at: http://lib.eshia.ir/12023/1/0.

[23] House Hearing, 107 Congress (2002). “Conflict with Iraq: An Israeli Perspective.” Hearing before the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives One Hundred and Seventh Congress, Second Session, September 12, 2002, Serial No. 107-139.

[24] A. Nafisi (2003). “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books.” Published in the United States by The Random House Publishing Group, 2003.

[25] A. Moaveni (2006). “Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran.” Published in the United States by PublicAffairs, a member of Perseus Book Group, 2006.

[26] P. Mahdavi (2009). “Passionate Uprising: Iran’s Sexual Revolution.” Stanford University Press. 2009.


The Woman Who Raised Heroes

The Woman Who Raised Heroes

Hussein Samawarchi

This is, by far, one of the most eventful weeks for the media this year. The ongoing discussions of the speeches made at the United Nations shook the world of news analysts with praise for leaders like Presidents Hasan Rouhani [Iran] and Michel Aoun [Lebanon], and, mockery for substandard performers like [“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [US President Donald] Trump. There was also the mystery roaming around the Khashoggi affair which has had everyone making speculations as to how much will Erdogan take for hushing up the matter. Mohammed bin Salman had his pilot terrorists target a hospital in Yemen and then families running away from his bombs. And, news of the execution of unarmed Palestinian protestors by Zionist forces made the headlines as well.

All of the above plus coverage of Hurricane Michael could not divert attention from two women who also made the news. They are both best known for their positions on heritage and the oppressed of the world. One defended her heritage with everything dear to her heart and the other did everything she could to deny her own. One gave her three sons and a grandson to the cause of the oppressed while the other strives to have the children and grandchildren of the oppressed massacred.

The first is Aminah Salameh who is better known as Hajjeh EUm Imad Mughniyeh; she is identified as The Mother of Martyrs. A title well deserved because of the number of times she had to attend the funerals of her beloved children who achieved martyrdom in the course of defending their homeland against the invading Zionist terrorists and their Takfiri partners who attempted to break down the last Arab country standing against imperialism.

Hajjeh Um Imad waged war against evil by educating her sons about the necessity of loving their country as much as she loved them; and, a mother’s love is so immense that the greatest poets have not, yet, been able to describe it in words. That is how much her children loved their country.
She also raised them to be proud of their identity and to defend it vigorously; the identity that derives its roots from the teachings of Imam Hussein (AS) – protecting justice and defending those who are oppressed even when the enemy is superior in numbers and arms.

But that is not the only reason why she gained the title The Mother of Martyrs. People bestowed this honor on her for the role she had in motivating others. She never allowed the loss of her beloved children to break her down. That is because she did not see it as a loss. Every time the flag of her country soared higher into the sky because of the martyrdom of one of her sons, her pride grew.

In a culture where the woman is regarded as a leader, Hajjeh Em Imad carried the banner of our Lady Zeinab (AS) with all that it signifies, from strength to sacrifice to victory.

The other woman who made the news during the same time is Nimrata Randhawa, US Ambassador to the United Nations. People may know her better as Nikki Haley.  She announced her resignation this week.

Independent news outlets are still trying to pinpoint the real reason for the decision, but talk of a corruption scandal has begun circulating. Other analysts speak of a higher role being assigned to her in the Zionist deep state that comes as a token of appreciation for her shameless public support of killing Arabs where possible. She would be prepared to win the US presidential elections of 2024 and the American public would be prepared for “Israel’s” flag to fly over the White House instead of the Star-Spangled Banner.

A lot of women choose to keep their maiden names after marriage, but Nimrata did not only drop it, she dropped the first name her parents gave her as well. She changed it to Nikki in an attempt to delete everything that links her to her real heritage. How can a person who denies her own identity be expected to uphold the identity of her country? Perhaps, that is why she is dubbed “Israel’s” Ambassador to the UN instead of the ambassador of the country paying her salary.

The two women are, indeed, at opposite ends of the ethical spectrum.

As much as it saddens the heart to see Hajjeh Um Imad leave us, something very comforting could not escape the eye when watching the coverage of her farewell proceedings. The sheer number of women, young and old, participating and paying tribute to The Mother of Martyrs can only assure us that her legacy of raising patriotic heroes will go on.

She is now with Jihad, Fouad, Imad, and young Jihad, telling them how proud she is of them and ensuring them that with so many mothers raising children like she has, victory is certain for the oppressed.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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